COLUMBIA, SC (WSOC) — Gov. Henry McMaster has banned the sale of alcohol at bars and restaurants after 11 p.m., issuing a “last call” executive order Friday.
The governor said the executive order is aimed at younger people and hopes it will help in the effort to try to get the state’s skyrocketing coronavirus numbers under control.
“Our elderly residents are most at risk,” McMaster said. “We’re worried about the younger generations unintentionally spreading to the older generations, that’s what we’re very worried about.”
South Carolina was one of the first states to reopen on April 24, though McMaster never fully shut the state down. The state also does not have a mask mandate, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends to slow the spread of the virus.
Outbreaks across the state have been traced back to Myrtle Beach, where vacationers have been flocking after being cooped up by COVID-19 for months. Myrtle Beach has since issued a mask mandate.
The state has emerged as a virus hotspot, at one point being listed as the fourth-highest new infection rate in the nation.
Officials with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control said that nearly half of the COVID-19 cases in South Carolina have been reported in the past two weeks and 22% of all confirmed cases in the state are in people between the age of 21-30.
“It’s time for our younger adults to behave like mature adults. Wear your mask, ”McMaster said.