SC no longer under state of emergency due to COVID-19, McMaster says

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South Carolina is no longer under a state of emergency order because of the COVID-19 pandemic, a threat subdued as more South Carolinians have gotten vaccinated against the respiratory disease that has claimed more than 8,000 lives, Gov. Henry McMaster said Monday.

McMaster rescinded the emergency order more than one year after he first enacted it in March 2020 when only 13 people had at that point tested positive for the novel virus. As of Monday, nearly 500,000 South Carolinians have tested positive since the state started logging cases last year and more than 8,500 people have died.

South Carolinians won’t see much change, if at all, with the order no longer in place.

Restrictions that put limits on social distancing, outdoor and indoor dining, store openings and mask-wearing, for example, were lifted months ago.

School districts have reopened their classrooms to students in person before the year ends after the governor signed into law legislation to require that districts offer in-person classroom instruction all five days of school by the end of April. That forced districts to give parents options beyond virtual learning.

With COVID-19 vaccines readily available to all South Carolinians, many workplaces have reopened to employees, and businesses with mask requirements in place have lifted those mandates if customers are vaccinated.

This is a developing story. It will be updated.