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‘Last call’ | South Carolina stopping booze sales in bars, restaurants

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster has issued an executive order prohibiting the sale of all alcoholic beverages in bars and restaurants after 11 p.m. beginning July 11.
South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster has issued an executive order prohibiting the sale of all alcoholic beverages in bars and restaurants after 11 p.m. beginning July 11.

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster has issued an executive order prohibiting the sale of all alcoholic beverages in bars and restaurants after 11 p.m. beginning July 11.

McMaster’s office said the move is designed to help stop the coronavirus’ spread throughout the Palmetto State. McMaster’s order, which the governor is calling “the last call,” will not affect the sale of beer, wine and liquor at grocery stores or convenience stores.

On Thursday, state health officials said South Carolina has surpassed 50,000 positive cases, with 1,723 cases being reported overnight. About one in five tests reported Thursday were positive, and 22 new deaths were reported, bringing the death toll to 897.

Credit: AJC

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Credit: AJC

“Every time we don’t wear masks when we go out in public or we don’t refrain from large gatherings, we’re putting people at risk,” Director of Public Health Joan Duwve said Thursday. “Our individual actions can and do save lives.”

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State health officials reiterated during a call with reporters Thursday that people under 35 are responsible for most of the spread of the virus in South Carolina. The number of young adults who are diagnosed with COVID-19 has significantly increased as they spend time in group settings without social distancing or wearing a mask, Duwve said.

Regional coverage

At The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, we focus primarily on Georgia news, but we also like to provide readers with regional coverage of the Southeast. We cover stories that impact our region, especially in Alabama, Florida, Arkansas, Tennessee, Louisiana, South Carolina, North Carolina and Mississippi.

According to The New York Times, South Carolina had the world's third-worst COVID-19 outbreak during the last week, trailing only Arizona and Florida.

Another analysis of data from Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and the U.S. Census Bureau showed that Charleston tops a weekly national list of places where COVID-19 is spreading the fastest. Myrtle Beach ranked fifth.