South Carolina Eases COVID Restrictions As CDC Warns Of Leveling Trends

FORT MILL, SC – South Carolina bars and restaurants resumed normal alcohol service on Monday, and opened with essentially no COVID capacity limits as federal health officials warned of a possible spring COVID surge. 

We came back open with a bang. The guests want to be here,” said Sarena Mathews, the manager at Carolina Ale House in Fort Mill. 

Business has remained steady the last few months. 

”With the new restrictions being lifted our guests are going to be happy to not have their drinks taken from them at 11pm,” said Mathews. 

She says they plan to serve late night drinks and continue operating at near full capacity. While staff is wearing masks, customers won’t be required. 

“We’re looking forward to that and having that late night business again,” said Mathews. 

“I remain deeply concerned about a potential shift in the trajectory of the pandemic,” said Dr. Rochelle Waleinsky, the CDC Director. 

In a news conference on Monday, Waleinsky said the decline in COVID cases and deaths is leveling off

“Please hear me clearly. At this level of cases with variant spreading, we stand to completely lose the hard earned ground that we have gained. These variants are a very real threat to our people and our progress,” said Waleinsky. 

But that hasn’t stopped South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster. He’s touted his approach for months. 

Political leaders in many states have gone too far.  They have infringed on the Constitution and trampled personal freedoms,” said McMaster during his State of the State address in January. 

“We took a road less traveled – a better road.  We slowed down, but safely remained open.  We never closed,” continued McMaster. 

South Carolina has seen more than a half a million COVID cases since the pandemic began. More than 8500 people have died.