On April 6, 2020 Governor Henry McMaster issued Executive Order No. 1 2020-21. The name we all know it by is the stay at home order. Governor McMaster issued this order in order to help flatten the curve of the coronavirus. What does flattening the curve mean? It means spreading out when people get infected so our hospitals don’t get overwhelmed. This is important because our hospitals have limited resources that can’t handle a giant influx of patients all at once.
So what does this mean for citizens? Well first of all, this is a statewide order meaning it is in effect for all counties. If anything your city or county has passed is different from the Governor’s Order then the Governor’s Order takes priority. As this is an executive order from the Governor it carries the force of law, and there could potentially be criminal penalties for not listening to it.
The stay at home order lists out specifically says what is NOT an essential business. Some examples include bars, movie theaters, gyms, barber shops, book stores, and furniture stores. An entire list can be found on pages 7 and 8 at this link: https://tinyurl.com/sgermor . If a type of business is not on this list then it is considered an essential business and allowed to be open. Additionally, the Governor lists out “Essential Activities.” These are activities you are still allowed to do. Some examples are visiting a family member, obtaining necessary supplies (like grocery shopping), going to your doctor or pharmacy, caring for your pets, engaging in outdoor exercise, attending church, and traveling as required by law. With all these essential activities it is important to note that you should still follow CDC guidelines and practice social distancing and avoid unnecessary trips or contact with others.
Law firms in South Carolina are considered an essential business in South Carolina. This means that law firms can still remain open, accept new cases, and work on current cases they may have. Some law firms may have policies where you need to call ahead so they can safely arrange for you to visit. Unfortunately, even during times of a global pandemic we still see people getting injured as a result of the conduct of others. Feel free to reach out a personal injury lawyer or nursing home attorney if you think you may have a case that involve those areas of law. Many firms are still accepting clients and would be happy to talk to you.