Home-Work order for South Carolina; sixth COVID-19 death in Horry as state estimates show the unseen scope of the pandemic

By DEUCE NIVEN

tribdeuce@tabor-loris.com

     South Carolinians are ordered to stay at home or work, with some exceptions, beginning at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Gov. Henry McMaster said in a Monday afternoon news conference.

     A sixth death resulting from the coronavirus COVID-19 was confirmed in Horry County Monday, with another dozen new cases and new estimates that the true number of infections may be far, far larger.

     Earlier in the day Columbus County’s first death resulting from infection by the coronavirus COVID-19 was reported by the Columbus County Health Department, that just hours before three new cases of the disease were confirmed, bringing the county total to 12.

     This post will cover these topics and will be updated:

  • Home-Work order for South Carolina effective 5 p.m. Tuesday
  • Another COVID-19 death in Horry, a dozen new confirmed cases that could be a fraction of the total
  • First COVID-19 death in Columbus County
  • Three new coronavirus cases brings Columbus total to 12
  • Loris enacts burning ban, statewide prohibition set

Home-Work order for South Carolina effective 5 p.m. Tuesday

     McMaster said his latest Executive Order will not close businesses not ordered closed by previous orders, but does require retail stores that are still open to practice social distancing measures by allowing no more than five customers per 1,000 square feet of floor space, or to allow no more than 20 percent of fire code capacity in those businesses, whichever number is lower.

     See the full text of the governor’s order here.

     Violation of the governor’s executive orders, he said, is a misdemeanor punishable by a 30 day jail term and/or $100 fine for each day of violation.

     Why now?

     “It is time, according to the data, according to the science, according to the facts, according to the experts advice and guidance,” McMaster said. “Too many people are on the roads, are on the waters, are in the stores, are not complying with our requests.”

     Non-compliance from previous orders, the governor said, has been evident.

     “Too many people are on the roads, too many people are on the waters, too many people are in the stores, are not complying with our requests,” the governor said.

     Gov. McMaster called on the South Carolina General Assembly to convene in Columbia Wednesday, as scheduled, calling their work “vital business” while noting that cashiers, police officers, and others are working during the COVID-19 crisis.

     Gov. McMaster also encouraged churches, especially this Easter Sunday, to hold services online, outdoors, and if necessary “to provide for social distancing in the church.”

Sixth COVID-19 death in Horry, a dozen new confirmed cases that could be a fraction of the total

     Horry County’s sixth COVID-19 fatality was reported with a dozen new confirmed cases of the infection on Monday.

     That death, and three others reported Monday, were “elderly with underlying health conditions,” DHEC reported.

     A report from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control showed 76 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Horry County, including three in the Loris Zip Code, one in the Green Sea Zip Code.

     New DHEC data also showed estimated cases, and the total number of possible cases in Horry County based on data gathered by DHEC.

     An estimated 430 COVID-19 cases currently exist in Horry County, DHEC data shows, with as many as 506 cases possible.

     In Loris, the estimated number of cases is 18, total possible cases is 21; while in Green Sea those numbers are 6 and 7 respectively.

     Those estimates, DHEC said, reflect evidence that for every known case of COVID-19 there could be up to nine people with the virus who have not been identified.

First COVID-19 death in Columbus County

     Columbus County’s first COVID-19 death was confirmed Monday morning.

     “The individual passed away on April 5 and was receiving care in a nearby hospital,” a Health Department news release said. “The individual had several underlying medical conditions and was one of the previously identified positive cases in Columbus County.

     “To protect the families’ privacy, no further information about this individual will be released. We offer our deepest condolences and sympathies to all of the individuals’ family and friends in this very difficult time.

Three new coronavirus cases brings Columbus total to 12

     With three new COVID-19 cases confirmed in Columbus Monday afternoon the county’s total reached 12, a health department news release said.

     Two of the 12 have recovered, and one passed away (see story above), the news release said.

     “All three individuals are recovering at home,” the news release said. “The source of infection is unknown for two cases and the third is travel related.

     “The Columbus County Health Department will continue to follow CDC guidelines to protect public health and limit the spread of infection. Based on information provided by the individuals, county public health officials will assess risks of exposure, and determine which, if any, additional measures are needed such as temperature and symptom checks, quarantine and/or testing.

     “We urge the public to take the necessary measures to stop the community transmission of COVID-19.”

     Regularly updated information from the Columbus County Health Department is available on its Facebook page here

     Columbus County Health Department’s COVID-19 Call Center is also operating from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays. Call 910-640-6615 ext. 7045 or 7046.

Loris enacts burning ban, statewide prohibition set

     A ban on outdoor burning, effective immediately, was announced by the Loris Fire Department Monday morning.

     Following a similar ban put in place Friday for unincorporated areas of Horry County, both bans will “remain in place until further notice,” an LFD news release said.

     In Loris the ban includes yard debris burns; forestry, wildlife or agricultural burns; campfires and other types of recreational open burning.

     “The ban has been placed due to the extreme fire danger as a result of the low relative humidity and windy conditions,” an Horry County news release said. “Any and all outdoor burning, included permitted burns, are strictly prohibited during the ban, and those involved in any open burning would be in violation of the law.”

     A “state forester’s” burning ban for all of South Carolina has been announced by the S.C. Forestry Commission, effective at 6 a.m. Tuesday.

     For additional information contact Chief Jerry Hardee or Lt. Robert Rudelitch at the Loris Fire Department, visit here, or here.

Updates

     Look for continuing coverage on local impacts from the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak here and in the Tabor-Loris Tribune in print and online.