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Horry has new COVID-19 death, no new cases in Columbus, and other pandemic news for the day

State DOT sign on U.S. 701 at SC 9 near Loris reminds motorists to be safe, that rental bookings have been canceled, and there are no rooms for rent. (Deuce Niven, TLT)


     A tone of cautious optimism and encouragement to stay the course of social distancing and rigorous hygiene to stem the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19 seemed the theme of a county government news conference Tuesday morning.

     While four new COVID-19 cases were reported for Horry Tuesday afternoon, Columbus County, enjoyed a day with no new positive findings.

     This post will cover these topics and may be updated:

  • A new COVID death in Horry, county says stay the course
  • Columbus reports no new COVID cases
  • Horry Schools revise Loris area meal locations, times
  • Columbus to livestream county meeting, limit in-person attendance
  • Loris Chamber offers modified business list

A new COVID death in Horry, county says stay the course

     An additional death and four newly confirmed COVID-19 cases for Horry County were reported by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control Tuesday.

     A “middle-aged individual with underlying health conditions” was the description of the Horry County death provided by DHEC, bringing the total dead from the coronavirus in Horry to eight.

     Horry’s case count climbed to 151, DHEC reported, with the potential of unconfirmed cases estimated from 928 to 1,079.

     A Zip Code breakdown showed seven cases in the Loris area, and one case in the Green Sea Zip Code, unchanged from Monday.

     Horry County will stay the course of social distancing and following Executive Orders from Gov. Henry McMaster designed to slow the spread of the coronavirus, County Council Chairman Johnny Gardner said during a news briefing Tuesday.

     “Hopefully we will defeat this thing and get back to business as soon as we can,” Gardner said.

     Getting businesses shuttered by Executive Order is important, but must be done right, not too quickly, but as quickly as is right.

     “We have to find somewhere in the middle, to open up in a safe way,” Gardner said.

     Horry County’s eight COVID-19 deaths includes an Horry County Schools bus driver, Board of Education Chairman Ken Richardson said Monday; and three school district employees working in the nutrition programs at South Conway Elementary and Socastee Elementary schools have tested positive for the virus.

     A staff member at the J. Reuben Long Detention Center near Conway has also tested positive for the virus, Sheriff Phillip Thompson said. The three school nutrition program employees and the jail staff member are all in isolation, recovering at home.

     Police Chief Joe Hill and Fire Rescue Chief Joey Tanner each said they have had no positive cases diagnosed in their ranks.

     That could still happen, assistant county administrator Randy Webster said.

     “If that does happen, we will do the right things,” he said.

     Statewide there are 3,553 confirmed COVID-19 cases in South Carolina, on Tuesday, up by 115 from Monday, with ten new deaths bringing that total to 97.

     South Carolinians are encouraged to stay home and minimize contact with people outside their households to prevent the spread of the disease,” a DHEC news release said. Other steps the public should take include:

  • Monitoring for symptoms
  • Practicing social distancing
  • Avoiding touching frequently touched items
  • Regularly washing your hands

     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.

Columbus reports no new COVID cases

     There were no new confirmed COVID-19 cases in Columbus County on Tuesday.

     “Our current total number of COVID-19 cases is 37,” a county Health Department news release said. “Currently, of the 37 total COVID-19 cases in Columbus County, there have been three recoveries and one death.

     “We are urging the public to take the necessary measures to stop the transmission of COVID-19. The only way to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 is social distancing; there is currently no vaccination. The Columbus County Health Department will continue to provide daily updates outlining additional positives cases if/when they are reported.”

     Health leaders offered a reminder that there are numerous resources for help, including:

  • Hop4NC Helpline – 855-587-3463
    • NC 2-1-1 – Dial 211 or 888-892-1162 for North Carolina COVID-19 Help and Updates

     Statewide there are 5,024 confirmed COVID-19 cases in North Carolina, with 108 deaths.

     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.

     Horry Schools revise Loris area meal locations, times

     Some changes are coming to Horry County School District’s Student Meal Delivery program in the Loris area and in Myrtle Beach, the district announced Tuesday.

     These changes are effective Wednesday.

     Daily schedule for the Loris area includes:

  • 9:50 a.m. –370 McNeil Chapel Rd, Longs
    •  10:15-10:30 a.m. – Cedar Branch Empowerment Center
    •  10:15-10:30 a.m. – Bennett Loop at the end of the Loop
    •  10:40-10:55 a.m. – Tall Pines Apartments
  • 11:00-11:15 a.m.– Creekwood Apartments
    •  11:00-11:15 a.m. – Freemont Baptist Church
    •  11:30-11:45 a.m. – 550 St. John Mercury Hill Baptist Church
    •  11:30-11:45 a.m. – Goose Bay Road at the dead end
  • 12:00-12:15 p.m.– Carrie Lane & Barker Road
    •  12:30-12:45 p.m. – FlagPatch Apostolic Holiness Church

Daily schedule for the Green Sea Floyds area includes:

  • 10:15-10:30 a.m.- Ware & Hibiscus
    •  10:15-10:30 a.m. – Long branch Swamp Road & Harrelson Road
    •  10:40-10:55 a.m. – Harvest Baptist Church
    •  10:45-11:00 a.m. – Hwy 19 and Hwy 917 at the vacant lot
  • 11:00-11:15 a.m.- Olive Drive & Sea breeze Drive
    •  11:20-11:35 a.m. – Little Bethel and Birdie Road
    •  11:15-11:30 a.m. – 3501 Hwy 917 Finklea Community Center
    •  11:45-11:55 a.m. – Cheryl Drive and South Howard Road
  • 12:05 – 12:15 p.m.- Ina and Hwy 19

     For the complete district schedule visit here.

Columbus to livestream county meeting, limit in-person attendance

     After sharply abbreviating their mid-month meeting in March, and cancelling on April 6, Columbus County Commissioners are scheduled to meet this Monday with attendance sharply limited, the proceedings live streamed on the Columbus County, North Carolina Facebook page here, a notice signed by chairman Edwin Russ and released Tuesday said.

     Public comment will be accepted, in writing, with the normal rules for public comment enforced. Comments will be read aloud for only three minutes, and the total time for public comment will be limited to 30 minutes.

     Comments may be submitted by email to or mailed to Columbus County Clerk, Attn: Public Comments 04/20/20, 111 Washington Street, Whiteville, NC 28472.

     “We are currently working on ways to make meetings accessible by pone as well as online and apologize for any inconvenience this form of meeting imposes,” the notice said.

Loris Chamber offers modified business list

     A list of Loris businesses and their current status during the pandemic is being maintained by the Loris Chamber of Commerce, and modified regularly.

     A newly modified list was released Tuesday.

     Chamber listings document changes in business hours and pertinent details regarding available service.

     Restaurants on the list include:

  • American Hero: Closed
  • Backstreet Café: Take-out only
  • Benny’s Hibachi: Closed
  • Chain fast-food restaurants: Drive-through or take-out only
  • China King: Closed
  • Christine B. Brown Restaurant: Take-out only
  • Dominos: Take-out and deliveries
  • Ernie’s Hometown Diner: Take-out only
  • Fowler’s Grill: Take-out only
  • Jade Fountain: Closed
  • Panchito’s: Take-out only
  • Rockefellers: Take-out only
  • Santino’s: Take-out only
  • Shorty’s Grill: Take-out and deliveries
  • Santino’s: Take-out only
  • Tammy’s Backyard BBQ: Take-out only
  • The Grind: Take-out only
  • Tokyo Express: Take-out only

     A variety of other businesses, from attorneys to Wolpert’s Department Store are also on the list. See the complete list here.


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