COVID cases jump by 18 in Loris area, climb by five in Columbus, as some restaurants and salons reopen

Joseph Ward got pre-commencement haircut from Ashley Manning at Style Envy Friday, as some businesses began to reopen. See the story below. Deuce Niven, TLT photos)

By DEUCE NIVEN

tribdeuce@tabor-loris.com

     Though Horry County recorded 11 new COVID-19 cases Saturday, the Loris Zip Code saw an increase of 18, conflicting data from a state website said.

     Columbus County reported five residents newly confirmed as infected with the coronavirus Saturday, a day after some salons and restaurants re-opened under Gov. Roy Cooper’s Safer at Home Reopening order for North Carolina.

     This post will cover these topics and may be updated:

  • Horry COVID cases soar by 26
  • Five new COVID cases in Columbus
  • More gown sewing volunteers sought

Loris Zip Code records 18 new COVID cases

     COVID-19 confirmed cases in Loris increased by 18 on Saturday, though Horry County’s case total only climbed by 11, conflicting South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control data showed Saturday.

     The discrepancy appeared related to timing differences between Zip Code totals and overall county totals released on the state agency’s website.

     Zip Code data showed Loris with 72 cases, up from 54 that showed on Thursday and Friday. Green Sea remained at five confirmed COVID-19 cases, while the Horry County case count climbed to 371, with 11 people newly diagnosed with the coronavirus Saturday.

     Statewide there have been 9,895 positive tests returned for COVID-19 in South Carolina, up by 248 from Friday; with 425 related deaths, that number up by six from Friday.

 Five new cases in Columbus

    A modest increase of five COVID-19 confirmed cases in Columbus County came as North Carolina recorded its highest one-day number, 1,107.

     Columbus County has now recorded 294 coronavirus cases since the pandemic began, with 21 related deaths.

     North Carolina’s numbers Saturday prompted concern among state health officials.

     “This is a notable and concerning increase,” said NC Department of Health and Human Services Director Dr. Mandy Cowan. “As we head into a holiday weekend, please practice the three Ws – wear a face covering, wait six feet apart, and wash your hands frequently.

     “When it comes to our health, we need to work together to protect our families, friends and neighbors.”

     Also notable, ten percent of total tests were positive among labs that report both negative and positive tests into the state reporting system, the DHHS news release said. Earlier this week Dr. Cowan said that number had been about seven percent.

     “NCDHHS epidemiologists are analyzing the data to determine if there were any significant contributing factors,” the news release said.

     Statewide there are 22,725 confirmed COVID-19 cases in 100 North Carolina counties Saturday, the DHHS reported. There were 737 North Carolina deaths attributed to COVID-19 Saturday, nine more than Friday; with 589 current hospitalizations, that number up by 22 from the day before.

     By Zip Code: Confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Tabor City Zip Code rose by three on Saturday, to 77, DHHS data showed.

     Increases of one or two COVID-19 cases were reported in five of Columbus County’s five Zip Codes.

     Those reporting two new cases, and their new case count totals, were Fair Bluff, 16; and Chadbourn, 55;. Those reporting one new case, and their case totals were Cerro Gordo, 13; Whiteville, 77; and Lake Waccamaw, 26.

     Columbus County Health Department will be providing abbreviated updates related to COVID-19 during the extended Memorial Day weekend, Public Information Officer Daniel Buck said in an e-mail Saturday, with more complete reporting to resume Tuesday.

Dine-in and drive-through customers occupy Adam’s Seafood staff as a telephone order is taken Friday evening.

 Salons, restaurant begin to reopen

     As the clock struck 5 p.m., Friday some Tabor City businesses newly permitted to offer indoor service did just that, while some others were holding off as North Carolina entered a “modest” phase 2 reopening during the coronavirus pandemic, ordered by Gov. Roy Cooper.

     At Style Envy Ashley Manning was cutting South Columbus High senior Joseph Ward’s hair at about 5:30, making sure he was sharp for both the cruise-in downtown later in the evening, and commencement on campus Saturday morning.

     Both were wearing masks, a reality both said they could not have envisioned just a few months ago.

     “I’m just doing my seniors this evening,” Manning said. “I’ll be doing others tomorrow.”

Wait staff moved from table to table, all distanced, at Dale’s Seafood Friday evening.

     Restaurants on U.S. 701 Bypass, Dale’s Seafood and Adam’s Seafood, as well as Friendly’s Seafood downtown, appeared to be doing brisk business, though not the normal numbers for a holiday weekend.

     Gov. Cooper’s orders allow only 50 percent occupancy for indoor dining at restaurants, and in the early evening that did not appear to be a problem.

     At Adam’s, the only one of the locally owned restaurants with an active drive-through window, business was brisk for both dine-in and take-out orders, co-owner Stephanie Carteret said.

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.