Seventh COVID death in Columbus; two new cases in Horry as school district plans to restart meals program

By DEUCE NIVEN

tribdeuce@tabor-loris.com

     A seventh COVID-19 death in Columbus County Sunday came with no new confirmed coronavirus infections; while Horry County Schools said its meals program for students would restart Monday as the county added two new people confirmed COVID positive.

     This post will cover these topics and will be updated:

  • Seventh death, no new COVID confirmations in Columbus
  • Two more with coronavirus in Horry
  • School meals program resumes in Horry Monday

Seventh death, no new COVID confirmations in Columbus

     Deaths associated with COVID-19 climbed again in Columbus County Sunday, to seven, when a person previously identified as infected with the coronavirus died in a hospital, the Columbus County Health Department reported.

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

     There were no newly confirmed COVID-19 cases in the county reported Sunday, that total since the pandemic began holding at 90, sill the most in southeastern North Carolina, and on a per-capita basis easily surpassing any area county, including neighboring Horry in South Carolina.

     “We are BEGGING the public to take the necessary measures to stop the transmission of COVID-19,” the health department repeated in its Sunday news release. “The ONLY way to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 is social distancing; there is no vaccination.”

     Preventive measures against COVID-19, recommended by the Columbus County Health Department, include:

  • Social distancing (e.g. avoiding crowds, self-quarantining)
  • Wearing a mask or face covering when in public places
  • Washing hands frequently with soap and water, and for at least 20 seconds each time
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact with people who are ill
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, throw it away, and then wash your hands
  • Do not reuse tissue after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched

     Statewide there are 8,830 confirmed COVID-19 cases in 94 North Carolina counties Sunday, the NC Department of Health and Human Services reported. The new total was adjusted after it was learned that totals during the previous two days were not accurate due to a reporting error by Vidant Health, which had said all of its test results were positive.

     That error apparently caused the DHHS to report Saturday that infections had been reported in 95 counties, one more than the state reported Sunday.

     Statewide the total number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 was 299 Sunday, ten more than Saturday, the DHHS reported.

     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.

Two more with coronavirus in Horry

     Testing has confirmed two more Horry County residents have contracted COVID-19, bringing the county total to 203, South Carolina’s Department of Health and Environmental Control reported Sunday.

     None of the new cases were in the Loris or Green Sea Zip Codes, those total currently at 16 and 1 respectively, DHEC reported.

     Statewide there have been 5,490 positive tests returned for COVID-19 in South Carolina, up by 237 from Saturday. Eight additional deaths in the state reported Sunday brings that total to 174.

School meals program resumes in Horry Monday

     Horry County Schools will restore student meal services Monday, nearly two weeks after they were suspended because of confirmed COVID-19 infections involving employees in three of the schools’ attendance areas, the district reported Sunday.

     Those services will be restored with support from Operation BBQ Relief until Friday, May 8.

     Operation BBQ Relief is a 501(c)(3) Disaster Relief Organization that was founded in May of 2011 to help the community of Joplin, Missouri, after a devastating tornado. Since then, Operation BBQ Relief has responded to many impacted by natural disasters in 26 states, serving over three million meals.

     “This venture was made possible through the efforts of the South Carolina Department of Education and the South Carolina National Guard which allows us to resume bus-delivered meals and 13 pick-up locations,” a school district news release said. “With the many challenges facing families in our area, we are pleased to be able to help the students of Horry County by continuing to provide meals during this difficult time.

     View a complete list of the 13 pick-up locations and bus-delivery locations here.

     For more information on BBQ Relief and how to donate to its COVID-19 response efforts visit 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.