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Horry offices will begin to reopen Monday, Columbus reports five new COVID cases, offers new details on deaths, while Horry adds four

COVID-19 has claimed men and women in Columbus County in nearly equal numbers. More data can be found in the story below.


     Horry County’s State of Emergency has been allowed to expire with some county offices scheduled to open next week, though there will be restrictions in place to address COVID-19 pandemic concerns.

     In the region five new coronavirus infections have been confirmed in Columbus County, four more in Horry County.

     New demographic data related to those who have died as a result of COVID-19 was also released by the Columbus County Health Department Wednesday.

This post will cover these topics and may be updated:

  • Horry County government partially reopens Monday
  • Columbus reports five new COVID cases, new detail on deaths
  • Horry case count up by four

Horry County government partially reopens Monday

     Declaring that a state of emergency resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic no longer exists in Horry, County Council has allowed its emergency declaration to expire and instructed staff, including County Administrator Steve Gosnell, to begin re-opening county services.

     Some of those services will reopen beginning Monday, including most county offices, Horry County Memorial Library branches, and Horry County Police Department precinct stations, county leaders said in a news briefing Wednesday afternoon.

     Facilities that remain closed include the Horry County Museum and the L.W. Paul Living History Farm.

     “Good judgment” will guide policies at facilities as they reopen, either Monday or later, County Council Chairman Johnny Gardner said.

     Gardner encouraged residents who need to conduct business with the county to use online options when they can, and noted that transaction fees for payments have been waved during the COVID-19 crisis, and remain waved even without the emergency declaration.

     Safety measures will be enforced at all county government locations, and include:

  • Everyone in high-traffic public areas will be required to wear masks while inside facilities. This includes lobbies, waiting areas, customer service counters, etc. Everyone is encouraged to bring their own mask and wear it prior to entering the facilities.
  • Occupancy limits will be set in public areas of offices and lobbies.
  • Physical distancing guidelines will be in place.
  • Services made available online will continue and the public is encouraged to use online services when possible.
  • Additional hand sanitizing stations will be stationed in public areas.
  • Enhanced cleaning operations will continue.

     “Horry County will continue to phase into operations as conditions permit, and ask for patience if wait times exist,” a county news release said. “County officials remind everyone to continue to follow CDC and S.C. DHEC safety guidelines as well as Governor McMaster’s executive orders that remain in effect.”

Columbus reports five new COVID, new detail on deaths

     An additional five Columbus County residents have tested positive for COVID-19, the county’s health department reported Wednesday.

     That brings the total number of confirmed cases in Columbus to 226, with 17 people who have lost their lives to the coronavirus, the last two reported Tuesday.

     “Three of the new cases are still under investigation and two of the cases are healthcare workers,” a health department news release said. “Three of the new cases have been hospitalized.”

     A county update on how many of those infected have recovered will be released Thursday, the news release said.

    Demographic data: Nearly all of the Columbus County residents who have died of COVID-19 complications have been 65 and older, with the breakdown between men and women almost even, the racial breakdown more complicated.

     Fourteen people 65 and older have died of the disease, two between 55 and 64 years old, and one 25 to 34, the data shows.

     Eight men and nine women have been claimed by the coronavirus.

     African American residents account for eight of those deaths, white residents make up 7, with one Asian or Asian American, and one Hispanic or Latino who have died of COVID-19 complications.

     While the numbers of black and white residents lost to the disease are close, white residents make up almost 60 percent of the population, African American’s just above 30 percent, US Census Bureau data shows.

     By Zip Code: Two newly confirmed COVID cases were shown in the Clarendon Zip Code Wednesday, that total now 4, the DHHS dashboard showed. Single newly confirmed cases were also reported in the Cerro Gordo and Chadbourn Zip Codes, and an additional death was reported in the Whiteville Zip Code.

     County data documented on the state DHHS dashboard sometimes shows later than the information released by the local health department.

     NC TOTALS: Statewide there are 15,816 confirmed COVID-19 cases in 99 North Carolina counties Wednesday, up by 470 from Tuesday, the DHHS reported. There were 597 North Carolina deaths attributed to COVID-19 Wednesday, 20 more than Tuesday; with 521 current hospitalizations, that number up by 46 from the day before.

     CC Health Updates: 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 case count up by four

     Four more people in Horry County have been confirmed with COVID-19, two apparently in the Loris area, South Carolina’s Department of Health and Environmental Control reported Wednesday.

     With the latest report Horry County has recorded 273 people testing positive for the disease since the pandemic began and 18 deaths.

     Zip Code data shows 32 of those cases in the Loris Zip Code, one in the Green Sea area, none of those new on Tuesday.

     Statewide there have been 8,030 positive tests returned for COVID-19 in South Carolina, up by 133 from Tuesday; with 362 related deaths, that number up by seven from Tuesday.


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