South Carolina becomes latest U.S. state to issue 'stay at home' orders

FILE PHOTO: South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster looks on at a rally in Columbia, South Carolina, U.S., June 25, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

(Reuters) - The governor of South Carolina on Monday ordered all residents of the state to remain at home except for visits with family members or essential outings to get groceries, medicine or exercise, to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.

South Carolina had been one of only nine U.S. states that had not yet imposed formal “stay at home” orders during the coronavirus outbreak and the last on the East Coast. Local orders had already been in place in parts of the state.

“Governor Henry McMaster has ordered all South Carolinians to remain at home or work unless visiting family, exercising, or obtaining essential goods or services,” the South Carolina Emergency Management Division said on Twitter.

The remaining eight states that have not imposed statewide stay-at-home orders are Arkansas, Iowa, Nebraska, Oklahoma, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming. Oklahoma, Utah and Wyoming have some local orders in place.

A total of 2,232 cases of COVID-19 and 48 deaths have been confirmed in South Carolina, according to the state department of health.

Reporting by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Sandra Maler and Bill Berkrot