Governor McMaster restricts SC alcohol sales to slow spread of COVID-19 among young people


In an effort to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus among younger people, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster is restricting when bars and restaurants can serve alcohol.

Starting Saturday, establishments will not be able to serve alcohol past 11 p.m. every night under McMaster’s new order. Bars and restaurants caught serving alcohol past 11 p.m. face suspension of their liquor licenses.

Other states such as FloridaTexas and parts of California have ordered bars closed. McMaster is taking a targeted approach, his office said, by focusing on types of places where young people would gather in larger groups, without socially distancing, and catch and spread the virus through respiratory droplets.

Cases among young people have increased recently and people under 35 are responsible for most of the spread of the virus in the state, health officials have said. According to the Department of Health and Environmental Control, people between 21 and 30 represent 22% of the COVID-19 cases in the state. It’s the highest percentage of any age group tracked by DHEC.

In recent weeks DHEC reported a 966% increase in people ages 11 to 20 and 413% increase in people ages 21 to 30 testing positive for COVID-19.

Although young people may have better outcomes from the disease, Prisma Health System has said it has seen an increase in the number young people hospitalized with COVID-19.

McMaster also intends to extend the state of emergency order an additional 15 days, as case counts have spiked in the last month and a half. This week, South Carolina surpassed 50,000 positive coronavirus cases.


Governor McMaster restricts SC alcohol sales to slow spread of COVID-19 among young people

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