News Releases

News Releases

Gov. Henry McMaster Convenes Public Health Emergency Plan Committee to Discuss 2019 Novel Coronavirus

January 31, 2020

COLUMBIA, S.C. – At Governor Henry McMaster’s direction, the Public Health Emergency Plan Committee, defined by S.C. Code Ann. § 25-1-440, held a meeting today in preparation of any potential impact that the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) may have on South Carolina’s population.

“While this virus doesn’t pose a direct threat to South Carolinians at this time, our public health agencies are working tirelessly to ensure that we are prepared for the worst, while we hope for the best. Team South Carolina is at the ready,” said Gov. Henry McMaster.

The Committee consists of “representatives of all state agencies relevant to public health emergency preparedness, and, in addition, a licensed physician from the private sector specializing in infectious diseases, a hospital infection control practitioner, a medical examiner, a coroner from an urban county or the coroner's designee, a member of the judiciary, and other members as may be considered appropriate.”

No cases of the 2019-nCoV have been identified at this time. However, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) has taken the following proactive steps to protect the health of the public:

  • Continue to monitor CDC developments and guidance daily.
  • Developed tools for the investigation of suspected and confirmed 2019-nCoV cases and provided training to epidemiology staff across the state to investigate and report cases.
  • Communicated information to hospital laboratories, infection preventionists, and physicians to keep them informed about how to identify and report possible cases to DHEC.
  • Held an informational briefing for legislators and reporters on 2019-nCoV preparations and activities in South Carolina earlier this week.

Developed a webpage to provide information and other resources about 2019-nCoV for the public.

To receive the latest updates on this newly discovered virus, go to

A fact sheet on the virus, including tips to protect yourself, is available here.



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