April 10, 2020

South Carolina Stay at Home Orders do not prohibit construction activities

Governor McMaster of South Carolina issued Executive Order2020-21 on April 6, requiring residents to remain at home except for purposes of engaging in essential businesses. The Order lists businesses, venues, and services that are considered non-essential, but does not prohibit anyconstruction-related activities. The Executive Order also adopts the federal guidelines created by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and theCybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) in the updated CoronavirusGuidance for America on March 28, 2020 in its definition of essential services, as follows:

The advisory identifies workers who conduct a range of operations and services that are typically essential to continued critical infrastructure viability, including staffing operations centers, maintaining and repairing critical infrastructure, operating call centers, working construction, and performing operational functions, among others. It also includes workers who support crucial supply chains and enable functions for critical infrastructure. The industries they support represent,but are not limited to, medical and construction.

Even though construction activities may proceed, all businesses are required to follow CDC guidance and maintain social distancing and sanitation practices to the extent possible.

Sanitation. The business shall implement all reasonable steps to comply with any applicable sanitation guidelines promulgated by the CDC, DHEC, or any other state or federal public health officials.

Local authorities are permitted to enact additional ordinances as long as they do not conflict with the statewide Order. The cities of Columbia and Charleston, and Mecklenberg County have issued their own stay at home ordinances, which are consistent in treating construction as an essential business.  

Construction projects for the SC Department ofTransportation have additional guidelines, as described here: https://www.hpwlegal.com/news/south-carolina-refuses-to-issue-statewide-stay-at-home-order-issues-construction-site-guidelines

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