COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster is asking nearly all out of state visitors to self-quarantine once for two weeks once they reach the state to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
The governor made the announcement on social media Wednesday afternoon. The move is a request, different from an executive order, which must be followed by law.
"Today I am requesting all out of state visitors to South Carolina planning a stay of two or more nights self quarantine for two weeks immediately upon arrival, he wrote.
Some other states have begun asking people traveling from virus hotspots, such as New York and New Jersey, to self-quarantine when they arrive.
McMaster has made multiple changes to the state to stop the spread of the coronavirus, including banning in-restaurant dining, asking elective medical procedures to be postponed, and a day earlier, shutting down schools through the end of April, and allowing law enforcement to break up some groups of three or more. So far, he has not given a "stay-at-home" order, which would close all non-essential businesses. McMaster said earlier this week that would be an extreme option, but did not rule it out.
What is the Coronavirus?
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more serious diseases such as pneumonia. DHEC is working with CDC to identify all those who might have been in contact with these individuals. These people will be monitored for fever and respiratory symptoms.
People can help to prevent the spread of the virus in the following ways:
- wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after using the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. And, always wash your hands with soap and water if they are visibly dirty.
- avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
- stay home when you’re sick.
- cough or sneeze into your elbow or use a tissue and put it in the trash immediately.
- clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- get the influenza vaccine.
For residents concerned about their own personal health or are showing symptoms such as fever, cough or shortness of breath, please call your personal doctor or healthcare provider. DHEC has launched its Care Line. If residents have general questions about COVID-19, the DHEC Care Line is here to help. Call 1-855-472-3432. Staff are answering calls from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Call volume has been high. Callers are urged to be patient if they receive a busy signal and try their call at a later time.