COLUMBIA, S.C. — Gov. Henry McMaster has brought an end to South Carolina’s pandemic-related state of emergency, saying the coronavirus situation in the state had improved to the point that it was no longer needed.
McMaster said Monday that now “we need to proceed on the course that we have set out, and be careful.”
The governor has issued 30 separate emergency declarations throughout the pandemic, creating a mechanism though which he could issue executive orders allowing him to set temporary policies aimed at reining in the spread of COVID-19.
McMaster never used his powers to implement a comprehensive statewide mask rule, instead calling on South Carolinians to show personal responsibility in practicing social distancing and other public health guidelines. He did order, and has since rescinded, several specific statewide orders that required masks in state government buildings and restaurants.