One bank sets lobby openings; Horry has just one new COVID case as Columbus records two deaths and NC enhances long term care assistance

COVID-19 precautions from the NC Department of Health & Human Services

By DEUCE NIVEN

tribdeuce@tabor-loris.com

     Another sign of a re-opening economy, Anderson Brothers Bank has announced plans to open its lobbies for the first time in two months, beginning Wednesday.

     Horry County had other positive news Monday, with just one newly confirmed case of COVID-19 reported.

     Columbus County has lost 20 residents to COVID-19, the most recent two deaths confirmed with nine new case confirmations Monday.

     Meanwhile state assistance to long term care facilities is ramping up.

     This post will cover these topics and may be updated:

  • Anderson Brothers may be first area bank to reopen lobbies
  • Just one new coronavirus case in Horry
  • Two new COVID deaths in Columbus, nine new cases
  • State enhances long term care assistance

Anderson Brothers may be first area bank to reopen lobbies

     Anderson Brothers Bank may be the first lending institution in the area to reopen lobbies, that scheduled for Wednesday, an ABB news release said Monday.

     Lobby hours will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., the early closing “to provide additional time for extensive cleaning of all customer access points in accordance with CDC guidelines,” the news release said.

     Those hours will remain until further notice.

     “We strongly encourage you to use the drive thru at all of our branches, make appointments ahead of time if necessary and simply limit your overall exposure as much as possible,” the news release said. “ATMs are readily available, some which take deposits; our Mobile App is very convenient and allows you to make check deposits and transfer funds.”

     Information on alternative ways to bank with ABB, without walking into a lobby, can be found at here.

Just one new coronavirus case in Horry

     Another resident of Horry County has tested positive for COVID-19, South Carolina’s Department of Health and Environmental Control reported Monday.

     With the latest report Horry County has recorded 299 people testing positive for the disease since the pandemic began, and 19 deaths.

     Zip Code data shows 35 cases from the Loris area, three from Green Sea, unchanged from Sunday.

     Statewide there have been 8,942 positive tests returned for COVID-19 in South Carolina, up by 126 from Sunday; with 391 related deaths, that number up by six from Sunday.

Two new COVID deaths in Columbus, nine new cases

     Two more Columbus County residents have died of COVID-19 complications, bringing that total to 20, with another nine people testing positive for the coronavirus, the Columbus County Health Department reported Monday.

     A total of 250 county residents have been confirmed with the disease since the pandemic began.

     Both of the latest deaths took place during the weekend, one Saturday in a hospital, the other Sunday at their home, a health department news release said.

     Both had been previously identified as testing positive for COVID-19.

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

     Of the nine newly confirmed case, the health department reported two “connected with a congregate living facility in Columbus County, two cases of the new cases are family members of a known positive case living in the same household, one case is a healthcare worker, two cases are still under investigation, and the source of infection is unknown for two cases.”

     By Zip Code: Fair Bluff has seen the number of people who have tested positive for the coronavirus more than double since Saturday, DHHS dashboard data shows, with four new cases showing Sunday, three more on Monday, that total now 11.

     One Fair Bluff area resident has died of COVID-19, the dashboard shows.

     In the Tabor City Zip Code the number of confirmed cases was up by one Monday, to 68; while Whiteville reached 65 with two new case confirmations; Chadbourn recorded one more, its total now 43.

     Delco became the last Zip Code in the county with a person testing COVID-19 positive, showing one case on the dashboard Monday.

     Precautions: As case counts continue to rise in Columbus County, the health department has almost daily issued pleas to the pubic “to take the necessary measures to stop the transmission of COVID-19.”

     Those steps recommended to prevent the spread of COVID-19, include:

  • Social distancing (e.g. avoiding crowds, self-quarantining, no mass gatherings, only going out in public when necessary)
  • 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

     NC TOTALS: Statewide there are 19,023 confirmed COVID-19 cases in 99 North Carolina counties Sunday, up by 511 from Sunday, the DHHS reported. There were 661 North Carolina deaths attributed to COVID-19 Monday, two more than Sunday; with 511 current hospitalizations, that number up by 18 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.

State enhances long term care assistance

     Increased support for long-term care facilities in response to COVID-19 outbreaks is coming from North Carolina’s Department of Health and Human Services.

     All long-term care facilities in the state will receive personal protective equipment (PPE) packs of needed supplies, and facilities will receive a limited increased rate for some Medicaid services to support infection prevention and management, a DHHS news release said.

     “We have a team dedicated to supporting our long-term care facilities as they protect our aging family members and loved ones who require round-the-clock care and the staff who care for them,” said NCDHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen, M.D. ”We want to help them do all that they can because once an outbreak occurs in a congregate living setting, it can be difficult to prevent the spread of the virus.”

     PPE packs will go to more than 3,000 state-licensed long-term care facilities and include a fourteen-day supply of face shields, procedure masks, gloves and shoe covers.

     Adult care homes, family care homes, nursing homes, intermediate care facilities for individuals with intellectual disabilities and mental health facilities will receive supplies. NCDHHS is partnering with North Carolina Emergency Management and the National Guard to deliver the packs at local distribution centers.

     A time-limited Medicaid rate increase for nursing facility services such as skilled nursing and rehabilitation services is also being provided by DHHS. The increase is intended to support strengthening infection prevention and management capacities with technical support from NCDHHS. The increase will also apply to personal care assistance and home health services to help providers who support people being able to stay at home where there is less risk to exposure.

     NCDHHS also released updated testing guidance to clinicians that recommends testing people who live in or have regular contact with high-risk settings such as long-term care facilities.

     For NCDHHS and CDC guidance for long-term care facilities visit here.

     A list of congregate care settings with outbreaks is available on the NCDHHS COVID-19 Dashboard 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.