WEST COLUMBIA, S.C. — Gov. Henry McMaster once more mentioned South Carolina is recovering higher from the COVID-19 pandemic than simply about some other state as he held a ceremonial signing Thursday of a invoice stopping individuals from suing corporations over the virus.
The brand new regulation protects businesses and different teams so long as they observe pointers to guard individuals from the virus. Dozens of different states have handed comparable measures.
McMaster headed lower than 2 miles from his Statehouse workplace to Café Strudel in West Columbia, whose proprietor praised him and the Legislature for taking steps to scale back his danger from reopening after the worst of the pandemic.
The governor once more mentioned his determination to withstand closing eating places and different companies and permit them to reopen extra rapidly meant South Carolina suffered much less financial issues.
“In consequence numerous different states are struggling to get out of the holes they have been in. We’re able to blast off,” McMaster mentioned Thursday earlier than signing the invoice.
The Might unemployment fee within the state was 4.6% in Might, down from the pandemic excessive of 11.5% in Might 2020 and properly under the nationwide fee of 5.8% in Might 2021, in line with the South Carolina Division of Employment and Workforce.
COVID-19 has killed greater than 9,800 individuals in South Carolina since March 2020. Solely about 37% of the inhabitants has been totally vaccinated in opposition to the illness.
After the invoice signing, McMaster mentioned he wasn’t anxious in regards to the low vaccine charges or new COVID-19 variants which have prompted elevated case counts and hospitalizations in different states.
“We’re at all times on alert. We watch it very carefully and we’re prepared to reply as crucial,” the governor mentioned.
McMaster made the COVID-19 legal responsibility invoice a precedence. He really signed the bill on April 28 after it handed the Home 89-18 and the Senate 40-3.
Opponents of the invoice mentioned current legal guidelines would work shield the companies with out modifications and as of this spring there was only one lawsuit pending in state court docket the place somebody blames a enterprise for his or her sickness.
However the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce, the South Carolina Producers Alliance and different enterprise teams mentioned the bill protects companies and others as they attempt to bounce again from the financial downturn brought on by the pandemic.
The invoice presents certainty to companies that in the event that they do the suitable factor, they are going to be protected, Home Speaker Jay Lucas mentioned.
“We’re not rewarding poor conduct with a invoice like this. This isn’t a get out of jail free card,” mentioned Lucas, a Republican from Hartsville.
(WATCH BELOW: Rock Hill group’s mass vaccination clinic shuts its doorways)
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