- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 22, 2020

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster on Wednesday said K-12 schools in the state will be closed for the rest of the academic year, as some retail shops are now allowed to reopen amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The governor said there will be forthcoming guidance for districts on issues such as special needs classes and other “flexibilities” like teaching during summer as students continue with online learning.

Mr. McMaster said a working group will be looking at the issue of child care for parents who might be trying to balance employment with children at home.

“We follow the old carpenter’s rule of measure twice and cut once, and we don’t want to make any mistakes,” Mr. McMaster said. “We went into the virus very carefully in a deliberate manner, and I think we did it as well or better than any state in the country.”

Mr. McMaster announced an executive order on Monday allowing some retail stores in the state to reopen as long as they adhere to social distancing guidelines and operate at 20% capacity or five customers per 1,000 square feet, whichever is less.

Stores allowed to reopen include florists, flea markets, department stores and sporting goods stores.

Several governors have announced in recent days that they’re relaxing previous orders that shuttered “nonessential” businesses amid protests across the country of some of the state-led quarantine efforts.

South Carolina has more than 4,600 positive coronavirus cases and more than 130 deaths out of a population of about 5.2 million people. Adjusted for population, South Carolina is ranked in the bottom half among U.S. states in both categories.

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