You're Not Under House Arrest, South Carolina

Apr 9, 2020

Those aren't jail bars on your porch, friends. You can still go out front, as long as you're not congregating in public.
Credit South Carolina Public Radio

Some South Carolinians, it seems, are not entirely sure what Gov. Henry McMaster's "work-or-home" order fully means. It essentially means you should stay at home unless you really need to not be there.

But it doesn't mean you're confined to stay inside the house behind locked doors. It also doesn't mean that we're living in a police state.

The York County Sheriff’s Office, according to its public information officer, Trent Faris, is fielding a lot of calls lately about just how much police presence there is enforcing the governor's orders. Officers will break up groups in public, but they are not setting up roadblock or checkpoints and are not driving around to order people inside their houses.

Faris did admit that officers are worried that the longer people are sheltered together, the more likely it is that police around York County will start answering domestic violence calls or possibly calls about residents confronting others for not following social distancing orders. Those are starting to make news,

A recent Tweet from York County Sheriff Kevin Tolson is an attempt to ease worries that the police are out to crack down on residents who venture outdoors.
Credit York County Sheriff's Office

and the incidents include a Kentucky man caught on video allegedly attacking a group of teens for failing to follow pubic gathering rules and an 86-year-old New York resident (and Abbeville native) who died after a hospital patient reportedly shoved her for trying to get her balance by grabbing onto an IV pole.

Faris says the YCSO has not heard of any such incidents, nor of any domestic violence specifically related to the coronavirus outbreak. But before things get there, he advises this:

"Stop. Think. Breathe. Talk it out," he says.

Scott Morgan is the Upstate Multimedia Reporter for South Carolina Public Radio. Fllow Scott on Twitter @ByScottMorgan