COLUMBIA, S.C. (WSAV) – Gov. Henry McMaster says he’s working on plans to get the state back up and running as quickly as possible.
By the end of June, he said “we expect our economy to be humming.”
During a Thursday evening briefing, the governor announced he’ll be working on a plan called “Accelerate South Carolina” to find best practices to get the state “back working at full speed.”
McMaster mentioned that prior to the pandemic, the state saw record job growth. Now, the South Carolina Department of Employment & Workforce says initial unemployment insurance claims filed for the first full week of April topped 87,600.
“We were right at the top of our game and growing and we want to get back there,” he said.
McMaster did announce a small step to getting back to normal, opening up public boat ramps and landings for fishing and recreation, effective noon on Friday.
With the revision, social distancing guidelines still apply and boats are limited to groups of no more than two people with the exception of family members from the same household. Boats can’t beach, only anchoring to fish.
When asked if he would open up access to public beaches, McMaster said simply that everything is under consideration.
The governor said there is no reason to postpone the primaries on June 9. By late June, he suggested lawmakers would return to ensure the government does not face a shutdown.
He didn’t mention an exact date for the state to begin reopening but said it could be within weeks.
“That is our goal: to remove those restrictions as quickly as we can,” McMaster said.
He added, however, that it’s “still too early to celebrate.”
As of Thursday, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control has confirmed 3,931 cases of COVID-19. At least 109 people have died due to the virus.