COVID cases spike in Horry, Columbus, after Easter respite

By DEUCE NIVEN

tribdeuce@tabor-loris.com

A notable decrease in newly confirmed COVID-19 cases in Horry and Columbus counties during Easter weekend ended Monday with 13 new cases in Horry County, six in Columbus.

This post will cover these topics and may be updated:

  • Horry adds 13 to COVID-19 count
  • Six new cases in Columbus
  • Retail distancing order takes effect at 5 p.m.

Horry adds 13 to COVID-19 count

     Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Horry County jumped by 13 Monday, including one from the Loris area, the state’s Department of Health and Environmental Control reported, a marked increase after just two were reported Sunday, heading towards the 18 Saturday.

     Horry’s confirmed COVID-19 total reached 147 Monday, with DHEC estimates that the uncounted total could range from 903 to 1,050.

     There were no new pandemic related deaths reported for Horry County Sunday, that number still seven.

     A Zip Code breakdown showed seven cases in the Loris area, with new cases confirmed on Sunday and Monday; and one case in the Green Sea Zip Code unchanged from previous days.

     Statewide there are 3,439 confirmed COVID-19 cases in South Carolina, up by 127 from Sunday, with 87 deaths, five of those newly reported Monday.

     Anyone with concerns about their health should reach out to their healthcare provider or use the telehealth services provided by several health care systems, DHEC recommends.

     For telehealth options and the latest information about DHEC’s COVID-19 response efforts visit here.

     Visit here for stress, anxiety and mental health resources from the S.C. Department of Mental Health.

Six new cases in Columbus

     With six newly confirmed cases in the county, the Columbus total stands at 37. Its first two cases were confirmed on March 18.

     “Investigation found that five of the new cases are connected to previous confirmed cases,” a Columbus County Health Department news release said. “The investigation is still ongoing for one of the six new cases.

     “Two of the six new cases are requiring hospitalization.

     “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.”

     To date three of the 37 individuals with confirmed COVID-19 infections have recovered, the county news release said.

     One death of a county resident has been confirmed, a male between the ages of 25 and 50 who passed away while being treated at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center in Fayetteville.

     Statewide North Carolina has reported 4,816 confirmed cases in 92 counties with 86 deaths.

     “We are urging the public to take the necessary measures to stop the transmission of COVID- 19,” the news release said., “The only way to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 is social distancing; there is no vaccination or treatment.”

     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.

Retail distancing order takes effect at 5 p.m.

     Retail businesses across North Carolina were given a long holiday weekend to prepare for implementation of new social distancing requirements, ordered by Gov. Roy Cooper on Thursday and effect at 5 p.m. today.

     Gov. Cooper said the new regulations “should make shopping safer for customers and retail employees.”

     Key impacts of the order include:

  • Retails stores may allow no more than 20 percent of the stated fire code capacity in retail stores at one time, or a maximum of 5 people for every 1,000 square feet of floor space.
  • Hand sanitizer must be made available to retail store customers.
  • Special hours for elderly customers must be provided
  • Screens or clear barriers must be in place at check-out carriers and other locations where customers and staff interact.

     Violating the order is a Class 2 misdemeanor, Gov. Cooper said, with local law enforcement empowered to issue citations.

     See the full executive order 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.