South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster authorized law enforcement officers to prohibit or disperse crowds of three or more if deemed "a threat to public health" in a Monday press conference.

Parties on the beach, "boisterous" gatherings, "spontaneous" gatherings in parking lots and other locations are considered misdemeanors, according to McMaster. This does not apply to law-abiding businesses or employers, officials added.

Law officers also have the authority to decide what is and isn't a gathering, WPDE reports.

State officials said South Carolina is in the "acceleration phase" of the coronavirus pandemic due to community spread.