A pause in high school sports training; a holiday ‘Stay Safer At Home’ recommendation; 42nd COVID death in Horry; small rise in CC cases

By DEUCE NIVEN

tribdeuce@tabor-loris.com

     Rising COVID-19 cases and concerns over Fourth of July holiday crowds have prompted the suspension of high school athletic training activities and a state health warning to “Stay Safer At Home.”

     This post will cover these topics and may be updated:

  • High school conditioning training to pause in Horry
  • DHEC: ‘Stay Safer At Home’
  • 42nd COVID death in Horry, 170 new cases
  • Small rise in Columbus

High school conditioning training to pause in Horry

     Concerns over the rate that COVID-19 is spreading will prompt a pause in athletic conditioning training for Horry County high school athletes effective Thursday afternoon.

     That’s a proactive response, Horry County Schools spokeswoman Lisa Bourcier said, “in anticipation of the upcoming holiday which will result in an influx of visitors to the area.”

     Effective at 4 p.m. Thursday, the directive prohibiting athletic training will continue until further notice.

     “We will continue to monitor conditions with the hope of resuming athletic conditioning soon,” Bourcier said.

     Loris High Athletic Director Barry Brooks said caution is warranted.

     “We must keep kids safe because of the rate of COVID-19 spreading,” Brooks said. “The students have been through a lot, missing athletic banquet and baseball and softball teams only playing 6 games. The conditioning training will be in phases.”
COVID-19 has so far spared the county’s young athletes, but not the county, Bourcier said.

     “While we have not had a reported incident of a positive COVID-19 case affecting an HCS athlete at this point, positive cases of COVID-19 continue to grow in Horry County.”

     Conditioning training had been approved under guidelines developed by the South Carolina High School League. Those guidelines limited training to nine teammates and one coach in one area, with no equipment allowed.

     Horry was among the last counties in the state to cancel conditional training. Others have already postponed or indefinitely suspended training because of COVID concerns. – Jenn Causey

DHEC: ‘Stay Safer At Home’

     This Fourth of July weekend South Carolina residents should “make safe, responsible plans for celebrating that include precautions for protecting against the spread of COVID-19,” the state’s Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) is recommending.

     “More and more of South Carolina’s positive cases are individuals who participated in group gatherings without keeping a safe distance from others or wearing masks,” a DHEC news release Tuesday said.

     That recommendation as the state recorded consistently high daily new COVID cases, and the number of people hospitalized due to coronavirus complications. A lack of social distancing and mask-wearing is contributing to the state’s escalating numbers, DHEC reported.

     “The virus is rapidly spreading across the state, with some of the largest increases in our coastal communities,” said DHEC Public Health Director Dr. Joan Duwve. “We’ve all given so much for so long, and we all want to be at our beautiful beaches, at our parks, our friends’ houses, our block parties and community events but I’m asking all of us to stay vigilant in the fight against this deadly virus.

     “While we celebrate our country’s birthday, please help your communities, especially those who are at increased risk of severe illness, hospitalization, and death. If we all pledge to wear our face masks, stay six feet apart, and wash our hands often, together we will reduce the spread of COVID-19 and save lives. That’s how we ‘Stay SC Strong.’”

     Young people are increasingly testing positive for the virus as South Carolina has seen a 966 percent increase in newly reported cases among those aged 11 to 20 and 413 percent increase in those between 21-30.

     DHEC supports the many local governments and event organizers who have chosen to cancel group activities across the state in order to protect their communities from the virus, and the agency recommends families instead celebrate the Fourth of July by planning home-based festivities and watching fireworks shows while remaining in their vehicles or tuning into celebrations virtually.

     COVID-19 updates are available here.

42nd COVID death in Horry, 170 new cases

     A 42nd Horry County resident has died of complications of COVID-19, data from South Carolina’s Department of Health and Environmental Control showed Tuesday.

     Another 170 county residents have tested positive for the coronavirus, DHEC data showed, that pandemic total now 3,319.

     DHEC identified the Horry resident who died as one of 17 elderly South Carolina people claimed by the disease in the past day.

     Three of the newly confirmed positive cases were from the Loris Zip Code, the DHEC data showed, that total now 232. For the Green Sea area the total remained at 16 Tuesday.

     Statewide South Carolina has recorded 36,297 COVID confirmed cases since the pandemic began, an increase of 1,741 from Monday, with 735 people across the state who have died of the disease, 17 more than Monday.

     A total of 1,021 Palmetto State residents were reported hospitalized for coronavirus complications Tuesday, a decrease of 11 from the day before.

Small rise in Columbus

     Four more Columbus County residents have tested positive for COVID-19, Tuesday’s daily report from North Carolina’s Department of Health and Human Services showed.

     Columbus County Health Department COVID updates are currently issued each Monday and Thursday.

     DHHS showed the Columbus COVID total at 521 Tuesday, up from 517, which both the state and county agencies showed as the total Monday.

     Two new cases were indicated in the Tabor City and Riegelwood Zip Codes, one each in Cerro Gordo, and Bolton areas, with one case taken from the Whiteville Zip Code, likely incorrectly assigned on Monday.

     Case totals for those Zip Codes in Tuesday’s listing were Tabor City, 118; Cerro Gordo, 19; Whiteville, 146; Bolton, 17; and Riegelwood, 29.

     Statewide: North Carolina has recorded 64,670 confirmed COVID cases since the pandemic began, Tuesday’s DHHS data showed, that total up by 1,186 from Monday; with 1,343 deaths, 18 more than Monday; and 908 COVID patients in the hospital, 65 more than the day before.

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.