Ongoing efforts continue across South Carolina and York County to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. On March 23, 2020, South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster issued the following executive order authorizing law enforcement to preserve public health.
“…prohibit or disperse any congregation or gathering of people, unless authorized or in their homes, in groups of three (3) or more people, if any such law enforcement official determines, in their discretion, that any such congregation or gathering of people poses, or could pose, a threat to public health.” (Executive Order No. 2020-13)
It is in the mission statement of the York County Sheriff’s Office to provide for the safety and protection of the citizens and businesses of York County. To ensure that public interests and constitutionally guaranteed liberties are protected, and that the judicial process is followed according to law.
“While still fulfilling our obligation of keeping the public safe, I have instructed our deputies to err on the side of liberty, rather than control,” said Sheriff Tolson. “We just hope our citizens will heed the public health warnings from the Governor to not gather, so our Deputies can focus on other areas of more concern.”
Citizens are urged to use good judgement when congregating at a place in which three or more people are present. Deputies may ask the group to break up reminding them of the current public health crisis.
The exceptions to the executive order are as follows:
• Gatherings in homes or authorized gatherings
• Includes the following essential activities:
• Shopping at grocery stores and home improvement stores
• Getting gas at gas stations
• Construction sites
• Blood drives
Authorized gatherings do not include:
• Congregating at the entrance to a store to socialize.
• Gathering in public parks.
In addition, Sheriff Tolson is urging the public to follow the Centers for Disease Control’s precautions to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).