McMaster says football won't be allowed in state if virus continues rapid spread
|Wednesday, July 1, 2020, 5:49 PM-|
South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster said Wednesday that he will have no choice but to keep restrictions on holding college football events in the state if COVID-19 cases continue to rise.
McMaster issued an executive order on April 6 that deemed spectator sports like college football, among more activities, to be non-essential and ordered them to be closed "to non-employees and not open for access or use by the public, or not to take place, as applicable."
McMaster and other state officials continued to strongly urge the use of face coverings and to social-distance with the July 4th weekend especially feared to increase cases.
DHEC announced Wednesday the single-largest number of deaths by day due to COVID-19 (24) and an additional 1,497 confirmed cases, bringing the total to 37,809 cases and 759 confirmed deaths.
"If we want to go into the fall with school openings and football games and all that goes into that with celebrations and gatherings, we must control the spread of the virus," McMaster said. "Take this thing seriously. If everyone does that, then we'll be in good shape. If there are people who don't do that, we will not be in good shape."
"If these numbers continue to rise -- if we continue to see this kind of danger going across our state, I'll have no choice -- we will have no choice but to keep these restrictions on crowds and gatherings in place. And that means this fall will not be like other falls. We will not be able to have college football. We will not able able to have high school football. We will not be able to have those kind of sports...We just won't be able to do it."
U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams had a similar message earlier this week nationally.
"Please, please, please wear a face covering when you go out in public. It is not an inconvenience, it is not a suppression of your freedom. It actually is a vehicle to achieve our goals," Adams said. "If you want the return of college football this year, wear a face covering..."
Clemson football had players report in early June ahead of voluntary workouts. Through three rounds of announced COVID-19 tests, Clemson has announced 47 total positive cases, and in that number, 37 have come from football players and half of the total positive cases have been deemed symptomatic.
Henry McMaster: "If these numbers continue to rise, I'll have no choice but to keep these restrictions on crowds and gatherings... we will not be able to have college football." @abc_columbia pic.twitter.com/58F4e7jZ2K— Mike Gillespie (@MikeABCColumbia) July 1, 2020
Let me make it very clear. Wear a mask and social distance now so we can enjoy high school and college football in South Carolina this fall.— Gov. Henry McMaster (@henrymcmaster) July 1, 2020