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TC student tests positive for COVID-19 as cases spike in county, another death in Horry, a mask campaign in NC


     No need for quarantine after a Tabor City Elementary School student tested positive for COVID-19, a spike in new cases in Columbus County, another coronavirus in Horry, and a new state campaign encouraging everyone to wear a mask “whatever the reason,” are part of today’s pandemic update.

     This post will cover these topics and may be updated:

  • TCES student ‘off campus for a good bit of time’ before positive test
  • Columbus confirms latest COVID death, 40 new cases
  • ‘Whatever Your Reason’ mask campaign launched
  • Horry records another coronavirus death, 36 new cases

TCES student ‘off campus for a good bit of time’ before positive test

     A Tabor City Elementary School student had been “well off of campus for a good bit of time” before receiving a positive COVID-19 test result this week, Columbus County Schools Director of Student Services Dr. Heather Pigott said Thursday.

     Principal Kelly Bullard handled notification of parents of children in the student’s class, and staff, after consulting with the Columbus County Health Department and Director Kim Smith, Pigott said.

     A combination of factors, including the amount of time the student had been on campus, and safety protocols in place on campus “since day one” of the new school year, prompted the decision not to ask anyone at the school to quarantine as a result of the positive test, Pigott said.

Columbus confirms latest COVID death, 40 new cases

     Columbus County’s 52nd COVID-19 associate death was confirmed by the Columbus County Health Department Thursday, with 40 newly confirmed coronavirus cases documented in the second of two weekly pandemic reports from the agency.

     That death, recorded on the state Department of Health and Human Services online dashboard Tuesday, took place Monday, the health department reported.

     Newly confirmed cases bring the pandemic total to 1,157, the health department’s new release said, with an additional case indicated in Thursday’s state Department of Health and Human Services online dashboard.

     Newly confirmed cases reported Thursday were the most documented by the health department in any of its twice-weekly pandemic reports since Aug. 13, when 51 new COVID infections were shown.

     Sixteen of the new cases were reported after the health department’s update Monday, eight Tuesday, and sixteen Wednesday, the agency news release said.

     “There are currently seven Columbus County residents that are hospitalized due to COVID-19,” the news release said.

     Zip Code data from the DHHS online dashboard showed one new case in the Tabor City and Chadbourn areas Thursday, eleven in the Whiteville area. Pandemic case/death totals for those as of Thursday are Tabor City, 263/17; Chadbourn, 151/6; Whiteville, 343/14.

     North Carolina reported 1,656 new COVID infections and 24 related deaths Thursday, the pandemic total now 172,209 and 2,803 respectively.

     Hospitalizations related to COVID-19 totaled 858 Thursday, the same as Wednesday.

‘Whatever Your Reason’ mask campaign launched

     “Whatever Your Reason,” a new statewide public campaign to encourage every North Carolinian to wear a mask in our collective fight against COVID-19, was launched Thursday by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

     State DHHS Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen announced the initiative during a news briefing, which was followed by a news release from Gov. Roy Cooper.

     “Wearing a mask is a simple, effective way to care for our communities and help our economy,” Gov. Cooper said. “I wear a mask to protect my family and loved ones, and because I know my actions contribute to our state’s effort to slow the spread of this virus.”

     “We all have a reason to fight the spread of COVID-19,” Dr. Cohen said. “We are excited to launch the ‘Whatever Your Reason’ campaign to remind every North Carolinian that there is a reason behind every decision to wear a mask.

     “For me, I wear my mask to protect my family and out of respect for every North Carolinian working hard to do the same. So, whether it’s getting back to work and school or protecting our loved ones, whatever your reason, get behind the mask.”

     The “Whatever Your Reason” campaign will feature a series of television and radio public service announcements and social media advertisements that will play across North Carolina throughout the fall. The critical message on prevention will include additional community promotions such as print publications, online display ads, and displays at gas stations, convenience stores, bus stations, and on buses.

     “NCDHHS encourages community and business organizations to help get the word out about the 3Ws (Wear. Wait. Wash.) and ask community members, customers, and employees to ‘Get Behind the Mask,,” the governor’s news release said. “Together, we will stop this virus.”

     To access campaign resources in English, visit here.

     Para acceder a los recursos de la campaña en español, visita here.

Horry records another coronavirus death, 36 new cases

     Another elderly Horry County resident has died of COVID-19 complications, another 36 citizens have tested positive for the coronavirus, data from South Carolina’s Department of Health and Environmental Control showed Thursday.

     That brings the pandemic total for Horry to 9,356 confirmed cases, 178 deaths, the DHEC data showed.

     Four of the newly confirmed cases were from the Loris Zip Code, none from the Green Sea area, the DHEC data showed. To date 553 Loris area residents and 37 from the Green Sea Zip Code have tested positive for COVID-19.

     Statewide South Carolina reported 1,084 new COVID cases and 12 new deaths Thursday, the pandemic totals now 119,822 and 2,667 respectively.

     There were 911 COVID patients being treated in South Carolina hospitals Thursday, that number up by 19 from Wednesday.


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