Columbus limits meeting access, Loris to declare emergency, Horry closes some facilities

By DEUCE NIVEN

tribdeuce@tabor-loris.com

     Heeding President Donald Trump’s advice Columbus County Commissioners will limit access to tonight’s Board of Commissioner’s meeting, County Attorney Amanda Prince said in an email.

     In Horry County public libraries, recreation centers and other facilities are being closed in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, a news release said.

Columbus commissioners

     “Due to COVID-19 President Trump has suggested that no more than 10 people gather,” a notice from Prince said. “Attendance will be limited at tonight’s meeting.”

     Those who wish may view the meeting live at here beginning at 6:30 p.m. today.

Loris declaration

     Loris City Council is expected to adopt an emergency declaration during its 6 p.m. meeting Tuesday, a news release from city government said.

     “Just as the City adopts emergency declarations for hurricanes, this declaration positions the City to be able to respond to COVID-19 related issues as they may arise locally, and it positions the City to qualify for state or federal reimbursements that may be provided to help reduce the impact that COVID-19 related expenditures may have on the City’s budget,” the news release said. “This declaration comes after similar announcements from the White House, the South Carolina Governor’s Office, and Horry County. The declaration will remain in effect for 60 days unless sooner terminated by resolution by City Council.

     “This declaration is made out of an abundance of caution to allow the City to respond quickly as this situation evolves. By declaring a state of emergency, it allows local government to mobilize resources, to better monitor the virus, to strengthen our ability to respond and assist, and to proactively take measures to protect our residents and visitors.

     “As needed, the City has the ability to take measures such as closing certain facilities and modifying employee work plans to slow the spread of the disease and reduce the number of cases. Any updates to our current normal operations will be communicated through our website and social media feeds. Staff will work on a plan to continue the business of the city by limiting personal contact and potential exposure.

     “Although the City of Loris departments remain open for business, the buildings are currently closed to the public to limit personal contact and potential exposure to the Coronavirus, COVID-19. This is out of an abundance of caution for the protection of our staff and our residents. This includes all City of Loris buildings – including the Parks, Recreation, and Tourism office.

     “Due to the growing health concerns regarding COVID-19, City of Loris Municipal Court has postponed the upcoming March 23rd, 2020 court date until April 13th, 2020. The Court date scheduled for March 26th, 2020, has been postponed until April 16th, 2020.

     “SCDHEC has established an information phone number staffed by SCDHEC nurses for people who are concerned about an underlying health condition or who think they may be coming down with a flu-like illness. The phone number is 855-472-3432.

     “Residents with any questions regarding utilities or the City of Loris Finance Department should call 843-756-4004.

     “We will suspend water cutoffs during this emergency period.”

Horry closings

     Some Horry County offices and facilities will be closed to the public effective Tuesday, including:

  • Libraries
  • Recreation Centers
  • Museum & Farm
  • Veterans Affairs

     Staff in these offices and facilities are still to report to work, a county news release said.

     “Additional event cancellations include the Parks and Recreation Pier to Pier Beach Run,” the news release said. “All Horry County Parks and Recreation and Library programs are canceled, including organized athletics.

     “We strongly urge the public to handle business with the County online where possible. Public use of the Government & Justice Center should be limited to necessary transactions. At this time, the Treasurer’s Office is offering free e-check payments for business license and hospitality fee transactions.

     “Emergency management staff and the administrators are continuing to monitor the situation with COVID-19 in our community. Please be advised that conditions may change quickly requiring new or additional closures and cancellations. Any updates will be provided as soon as possible. Please visit horrycounty.org/closings or our social media feeds for the most up-to-date information.”

     Look for more on the local COVID-19 response as events warrant here and in the Tabor-Loris Tribune in print and online.