Horry County Council voted Wednesday morning to end its state of emergency during the coronavirus pandemic, despite extended emergency orders from other local governments. A variety of businesses will be allowed to reopen as a result, despite their previous status as “nonessential.”
Included in this are home furnishing stores, gyms, pools, hair salons, and private zoos, joining businesses that were allowed to open last Monday with social distancing measures. Out of over 500 businesses that applied to reopen under South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster’s updated coronavirus emergency orders, nearly 90 percent of them were given essential status.
MyrtleBeachOnline reports that most applications were submitted in early April before emergency orders started to be rescinded, and before the gradual reopening of businesses in the past week.
“The goal was/is to keep as many businesses open that are able to safely do so. In general, if a retail operation remained open, that business was likely providing products deemed essential,” Commerce Spokesperson Alex Clark wrote in an email.
Positive cases of the coronavirus in Horry County have reached 269, with 18 virus-related deaths since mid-March, according to the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control. Last week alone the county had 36 newly announced cases.