COLUMBIA, S.C. (WSPA) – The governor of South Carolina has ordered all non-essential state employees to stay home and recommended changes to hospital visitation to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
“This is a historic, unprecedented outbreak. The likes of which haven’t been seen since the influenza pandemic of 1918,” South Carolina State Epidemiologist Dr. Linda Bell said.
An urgent warning from South Carolina’s epidemiologist.
“All non-essential state employees shall stay home from work,” South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster said.
For non-state employees, Governor Henry McMaster is still urging anyone who can work from home to do so. If that’s not possible, he’s asking employers to take extra precautions to keep their workers safe.
“We would say anyone in any business who can work from home, go ahead. And supervisors and employers ought to let them work from home,” McMaster said.
On top of that, the governor recommends visitation to any hospitals or overnight medical facilities, be off limits. One of those facilities that is being watched closely right now is the Lexington Medical Center Extended Care Skilled Nursing Facility. That’s where state officials said they saw their first COVID-19 death in South Carolina.
“We are working with the healthcare facility to provide infection control recommendations, we are taking measures to isolate individuals who have been exposed,” Dr. Bell said.
As for our schools in the state, the possibility of them being closed even longer isn’t off the table.
“As of now, it’s March 31 but we are working with our instructors, working with our superintendents daily and are making preparations for a longer time,” South Carolina State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman said.
Health leaders in South Carolina said they have seen a dramatic increase in the number of people being tested. With that being said, they are limited on supplies.
They told 7 News they’re working with the CDC to continue to get the needed materials to run the tests.