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Horry County Schools announced Friday afternoon that they will be cancelling out-of-state field trips beginning March 16 for students and staff until further notice, and will not schedule any new field trips of any kind until further notice. 

HCS also said that participation in out-of-state athletic events is cancelled until further notice, and no new athletic events will be scheduled, regardless of location, until further notice. 

These changes apply to all HCS staff and students, officials say.

During a press conference with S.C. Governor Henry McMaster's office Friday afternoon, officials said that they did not see the need to cancel schools in other counties except for Kershaw and Lancaster counties at this time.

Those two counties are the only two with confirmed cases of COVID-19. Officials say there are six confirmed cases in the state, and seven presumptive cases. 

Apart from the schools, McMaster ordered state government offices to remain open and keep their normal business hours. The governor also suspended visitation at all state and local correctional facilities, limited visitation at nursing homes to end-of-life situations and activated the state emergency management plan.

The announcements came a day after McMaster asked the General Assembly to make $45 million in reserve funding available to state health officials for coordinating the response to the virus.  

“DHEC protocols and procedures require the agency to prepare for a variety of contingencies and situations,” McMaster wrote in a letter to House and Senate leaders. “This requires that the agency identify and secure — in advance — the necessary resources, equipment and personnel to successfully address these contingencies.”

The money for the coronavirus response may be deducted from the $128 million taxpayer credit that’s included in the House budget. 

“This credit would not be available to state taxpayers until they file their taxes in 2021,” McMaster wrote. “At this time, I believe these one-time surplus dollars should be utilized now to provide DHEC with funds, to the extent necessary, to address COVID-19 in South Carolina.”

Check back for updates. 


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