South Carolina – Coronavirus State Actions

Governors are working closely with federal and local officials as well as private sector partners to address the threat of the novel coronavirus. This page lists select actions through 31 July 2020. It is not intended to be exhaustive but is meant to highlight key actions and resources that may inform other states and territories as they prepare for and respond to the novel coronavirus. All state actions can be viewed here, or visit Coronavirus: What You Need To Know for additional information and resources.


South Carolina DHEC coronavirus resource page.

  • March 13, 2020 – Governor McMaster issued an executive order that all K-12 schools, including universities, colleges, and technical colleges be closed through the end of the month.
  • March 14, 2020 – The SC Board of Medical Examiners and the SC Board of Nursing implemented procedures to broaden licensure requirements for out of state health professionals to practice in the state during this public health emergency.
  • March 17, 2020- The Governor signed an executive order on additional measures that:
    • Close all dine-in facilities from March 18 through March 31;
    • Prohibit any large public gathering from March 19 through March 31;
    • Activate the South Carolina National Guard; and
    • Delay the state tax filing deadline.
  • March 19, 2020 – The Governor signed an executive order which, among other actions:
    • Directs all non-essential employees at each public university, college, and technical college to work from home;
    • Waives regulations to allow unemployment claims to be expedited by at least one week;
    • Suspends unemployment insurance payments for employers through June 1;
    • Suspends procurement regulations for all state agencies; and
    • Suspends enforcement of certificate of need regulations to expedite treatment.
  • March 20, 2020 – The Governor announced the U.S. Small Business Administration approved the state’s request for the agency to offer South Carolina’s small businesses with disaster assistance. All 46 counties are included in the disaster declaration.
  • March 21, 2020 – The Governor issued Executive Order 2020-12, which directs the Department of Revenue to waive additional regulations to allow restaurants to include sealed containers of beer and wine for curbside pickup or “to-go” orders only. Additionally, the Order extends the state’s income tax deadline to July 15, in line with the new federal income tax deadline.
  • March 23, 2020 – The Governor issued Executive Order 2020-13, authorizing law enforcement to disperse congregate groups of people that pose a clear risk to public safety.
  • March 30, 2020 – The Governor issued Executive Order 2020-16 closing all public access points to state beaches, public boat ramps, landings, and other access points on the state’s lakes, rivers and waterways.
  • March 31, 2020 – The Governor issued Executive Order 2020-17, directing the closure of non-essential businesses, as defined through the order.
  • March 31, 2020- The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) approved South Carolina’s request for a Section 1135 Medicaid waiver. The approved waiver enables South Carolina to provide flexibilities in Medicaid provider screening and enrollment, forgo certain pre-admission screening and annual resident review assessments, lift prior authorization requirements, allow for reimbursement facility services in alternative settings, extend fair hearing timelines, and waive public comment and tribal consultation requirements for certain changes to the Medicaid state plan.
  • April 2, 2020 – The Governor, in partnership with the South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation extended the license renewal deadlines for licenses, registrations, and permits scheduled to renew during the months of April, May, June, July and August to September 30.
  • April 6, 2020 – The Governor issued an executive order including mandatory “Home or Work” order and establishing capacity limitations on retail businesses still operating.
  • April 8, 2020 – The Governor issued an executive order, allowing furloughed employees to receive “COVID-19 Support Payments” from their employers and still qualify for unemployment benefits.
  • April 21, 2020 – The Governor created accelerateSC, a coordinated economic revitalization plan involving small and large business leaders, healthcare professionals, local government officials and education professionals. The plan consists of five components of analysis and effort:
    • Response;
    • Protection;
    • Governance;
    • Resources; and
    • Information.
  • April 21, 2020 – The Governor issued an executive order lifting restrictions on public access points to the state’s beaches, public piers, docs, and wharfs. Additionally, the order re-opens certain retail stores that were closed pursuant to Executive Order 2020-18. 
  • April 21, 2020 – The Governor issued an executive order opening public boat ramps and boat landings.
  • April 27, 2020 – The Governor issued an executive order declaring a state of emergency for the state’s response.
  • May 1, 2020 – The Governor announced the statewide “Work-or-Home” order will be lifted and returned to voluntary status on May 4; additionally, restaurants throughout the state may begin providing outdoor customer dining service in addition to existing take out, curbside, and delivery services.
  • May 8, 2020 – The Governor announced restaurants throughout the state will be allowed to reopen for limited dine-in services beginning on May 11.
  • May 11, 2020 – The Governor announced that close contact service providers, fitness and exercise centers, commercial gyms, and public or commercial pools will be able to open in a limited capacity on May 18.
  • May 18, 2020 – The Governor signed H. 3411, which makes appropriations and revenue available to the state government to continue operations uninterrupted through the fiscal year beginning July 1.
  • May 20, 2020 – The Governor announced attraction facilities (e.g., zoos, museums, and waterparks) will be permitted to open throughout the state beginning May 22.
  • June 10, 2020 – The Governor released recommendations to the South Carolina General Assembly for how the state’s share of federal CARES Act funds should be invested.
  • June 12, 2020 – The Governor issued an executive order, which declares a new state of emergency, allows bowling alleys to open immediately, and lifts restrictions on the occupancy of retail establishments.
  • July 10, 2020 – The Governor announced that the sale of alcoholic beverages in all bars and restaurants throughout the state will be temporarily prohibited after 11:00 PM each night, beginning July 11.
  • July 29, 2020 – The Governor announced that all previously recommended guidelines for restaurants and other establishments that attract groups of people are now mandatory. The governor’s Executive Order establishing these new measures will go into effect Monday, August 3.