COLUMBIA, SC (FOX Carolina) - South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster on Thursday asked people in the state to be "careful and smart" this Thanksgiving as COVID-19 cases are once again on the rise in the Carolinas and other states across the US.

“We have to be careful. We have to be smart so we can all celebrate again together next year," the governor said.

McMaster asked South Carolinians to "do something very important that can save lives at Thanksgiving: Get tested before turkey."

The governor said people can get tested at nearly 300 sites across South Carolina, in many cases for free, and have results back before Thanksgiving.

South Carolina has seen three consecutive days where new cases have been more than 1,000, with Thursday's above 1,400, and DHEC has asked people be remain vigilant and take precautions, including mask use, social distancing, and limited participation in group gatherings to help prevent the spread of the virus.

McMaster said he will also be issuing an executive order in the coming days requiring DHEC to distribute COVID-19 test kits to South Carolina school districts to test students and staff for the virus in an attempt to help keep children in their classrooms and get more students back in classrooms.

Parents must sign a form that allows the school to test children for the tests.

DHEC said schools should have enough tests for symptomatic children and the rapid tests will yield results in about 15 minutes.

RELATED - DHEC issues list of low-risk activity recommendations for a safer Thanksgiving during the pandemic

Copyright 2020 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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