South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster said he will not lift restrictions on nightclubs, concert venues, theaters, auditoriums, spectator sports and other venues until Covid-19 is under control in the state.
“Ladies and gentlemen, we must follow the rules,” McMaster said at a press conference. “This is a dangerous and deadly disease, you must follow the rules. Wear your mask.”
He said the majority of new cases are among people under the age of 40, particularly between the ages of 30 and 35.
“They feel completely healthy but they may be completely infected,” said McMaster.
Infection rates for that age group are “just going up, going up, going up,” he said.
Despite the increased number of cases, McMaster said he will not require the use of masks.
“We cannot impose a mandate. It is ineffective. It is not practical to have a mandate and everyone wears a mask because it is not enforceable and for me saying that we are going to require people to wear a mask and then we cannot enforce it gives a false sense of security to those who believe everyone is following the rules, “said McMaster.
The numbers: South Carolina reported the highest number of people hospitalized in the state on Friday, Director of Public Health Dr. Joan Duwve said at the press conference.
There are currently 906 people hospitalized with coronavirus complications, the most the state has seen, Duwve said.
At least 1,273 new cases were reported Friday, totaling at least 30,263 cases and 694 deaths statewide, Duwve said.
Hospitals currently have a 75% capacity, Deputy General General of the South Carolina National Guard, General Van McCarty, said at the press conference.
He said that if hospitals reach 80% of capacity across the state, they will implement the surge plan. McCarty added that they will reduce elective surgeries if necessary to help with capacity.
“Our preference would be to keep patients in a traditional hospital. We will try to use the alternative measures that we have talked about as a second measure,” McCarty said.