Updated January 11, 2021
Mayor John Tecklenburg and city of Charleston leaders remain in close communication with federal, state and regional officials including representatives of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC), the U.S. Coast Guard and the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) on the situation related to the coronavirus.
In addition, city officials are working to review and update city plans, policies and procedures to reflect all current recommendations and best practices.
For the latest updates from the city, please visit, https://www.charleston-sc.gov/2408/City-of-Charleston-Coronavirus-Updates.
And for answers to many frequently asked questions, please see our City of Charleston Coronavirus FAQ.
About Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:
- Wash your hand often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick, even inside of your home.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Practice social distancing by keeping space between yourself and other people outside of your home. To practice social or physical distancing:
- Stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) from other people
- Do not gather in groups
- Stay out of crowded places and avoid mass gatherings
- Wear face coverings in public settings.
- With the city’s COVID-19 case growth rate falling from 19% to .64% since the passage of Charleston’s mask ordinance in June, City Council voted on August 18, 2020 to further strengthen the city’s emergency ordinance requiring face coverings by removing the mandatory warning and instead imposing a $100 fine for a first offense.
- The amended ordinance now in effect citywide imposes a $100 fine for a first offense, $200 for a second and $500 for a third.
- Per CDC guidelines, a distance of at least 6 feet should continue to be maintained between yourself and others, as face coverings are not a substitute for social distancing.
City of Charleston Emergency Ordinances Related to COVID-19
View Governor McMaster's State of Emergency Executive Order here: https://governor.sc.gov/executive-branch/executive-orders.
Guidance for Businesses and Employers
Accelerate SC Reopening Guidelines
On May 8, 2020, Governor Henry McMaster issued Executive Order No 2020-34 which authorized restaurants to provide services for limited indoor, customer dining, effective Monday, May 11, 2020, in addition to previously authorized services for outdoor customer dining.
This ordinance aims to safely stimulate the recovery of the restaurant industry in the City and to support local restaurants. To do so, City Council has temporarily suspended certain provisions of the City’s ordinances prohibiting serving food and drink outdoors on private property and on City sidewalks. The goal is to balance the ability of restaurants to maximize the use of outdoor areas, while preserving the ability of the City to take action to protect against any adverse impacts to livability and safety matters. As a result, the City has retained the ability to modify all approvals or permits if any such adverse impacts should arise.
This Ordinance shall expire on July 12, 2020, unless otherwise modified by a subsequent City Ordinance.
Businesses can apply for this use here.
Learn more about the emergency ordinance here.
Businesses with questions regarding this ordinance can contact the city here.
Business & Neighborhood Services has developed a COVID-19 resource list for the Charleston community to include essential resources, small business support, and recreation/education/entertainment resources, as well as opportunities to donate and volunteer to help those impacted by the coronavirus.
Information for Travel
Those with questions about COVID-19 can call the DHEC Care Line at 1-855-472-3432. Staff is answering calls from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week.