Gov. McMaster ends COVID-19-related state of emergency

Coronavirus

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WSAV) – South Carolina’s state of emergency issued for the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 has ended.

Gov. Henry McMaster announced Monday that after 451 days and 30 different renewals, he would allow the emergency order to expire.

Dr. Edward Simmer, director of the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, and the governor say even without the state of emergency, the effort to protect residents remains.

“The consensus now is we longer need the emergency powers,” McMaster said, “but we need to proceed on the course we’ve set out. We have to be careful and alert every day watching what goes on around the world and country.”

The order allowed the governor to waive regulations in order to respond to the public health emergency with appropriate resources.

Officials say the governor’s decision will not jeopardize funding the Federal Emergency Management Agency is giving the state to support its response to the pandemic. According to the South Carolina Emergency Management Division, the state could receive about $415 million in federal funds.

The state of emergency expired Sunday, and because there weren’t any restrictions tied to it, there won’t be an impact on day-to-day life in South Carolina.

State health officials say they agree with the decision because daily case and death numbers have been trending in the right direction.

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