Joint statement on need to continue to practice social distancing and proper use of face masks in South Carolina

In the best interest of the health of all South Carolinians, the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC), S.C. Hospital Association (SCHA), S.C. Medical Association (SCMA) and S.C. Office of Rural Health (SCORH) issue the following joint statement:

“DHEC, SCHA, SCMA and SCORH have come together to strongly urge all South Carolinians to actively help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and save the lives of our fellow residents by practicing physical social distancing and properly using face masks.

There is rapidly growing medical evidence that the use of face masks along with social distancing can greatly reduce the transmission of the COVID-19 virus in public spaces and places where people at higher risk of severe illness and death from this virus are likely to be present. We must all commit to wearing face masks in public spaces — if we all wear them, we’ll all be protected.

Since the beginning of this public health crisis, our organizations jointly committed to protect the health and welfare of all South Carolinians throughout this pandemic. We’re calling on you for your continued help.

Please join the leaders and staff of DHEC, SCHA, SCMA and SCORH and the physicians and hospital systems we represent in protecting the lives of all South Carolinians by wearing face masks in confined public settings and maintaining at least six feet between those who are not members of your household.

Together, we can turn the tide on the COVID-19 pandemic and save lives in South Carolina.”

The joint statement follows recently updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) that clearly emphasizes the importance of face masks and social distancing in preventing the spread of COVID-19.