Heading to SC beaches for July 4th? These states require you to quarantine on return

Mitchell Willetts

South Carolina promises sand, surf and sun for summer visitors, but with coronavirus cases climbing, health officials in other states are worried their residents will return home with more than a nice tan.

On Monday, Kansas became the latest to add the Palmetto State to its quarantine list, joining a group of five states that Kansans are required to self-isolate for a period of 14 days after visiting, according to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

Also on that list are Florida, Alabama, Arizona and Arkansas, plus anyone who’s traveled internationally or recently been on a cruise ship.

New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut are also playing it safe with South Carolina, a state suffering “significant community spread,” and have mandated a two-week quarantine for residents who visit, McClatchy News reported.

In a month defined by soaring case counts, South Carolina bookended June by setting another daily record high of 1,741 new cases on Tuesday, The State reported.

Since March, there have been over 36,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 735 deaths in the state. Currently, 1,021 people are hospitalized with COVID-19 or are suspected of having it, according to The State.

While notable COVID-19 spikes can be seen across the state, tourist hotspots along the coast are being hit especially hard, to the point that health officials recommend anybody who’s been to the beach should get tested for the coronavirus.

“If you’ve gone to the beach, you’ve likely come in contact with somebody who is positive, but perhaps asymptomatic,” Joan Duwve, director of public health with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, said last week.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo recently announced that residents who choose to travel to South Carolina, North Carolina, and other states deemed high-risk, would not be eligible for paid COVID-19 sick leave, McClatchy News reported.

New York was brutalized by the coronavirus to a degree the rest of the nation wasn’t, but after weeks of recovery, it’s now seeing some of the lowest infection rates in the U.S., Cuomo said, citing data from Johns Hopkins University, McClatchy News reported.

As for the states on New York’s quarantine list, the “pandemic is far from over,” he said.

While only four states have specifically listed South Carolina on their quarantine lists, other states, including Hawaii, Maine, New Mexico, and Vermont, have rules requiring quarantine for residents returning from out-of-state no matter where they went.