Pandemic delayed fireworks fly as COVID cases climb

Enjoying fireworks at South Columbus High School Saturday night. (Deuce Niven, TLT)

By DEUCE NIVEN

tribdeuce@tabor-loris.com

     Fireworks at South Columbus, more than two months delayed from the traditional Independence Day celebration, marked Columbus County’s official celebration Saturday as the COVID-19 pandemic has passed the six month mark.

     Coronavirus trends in the area remain higher than health experts would hope, especially in Columbus County where the rate of new infections seems stalled at twice that of neighboring Horry.

     This post will cover these topics and may be updated:

  • Pandemic delayed fireworks light up sky
  • COVID trends: Columbus creeps higher, a surge in Horry

Pandemic delayed fireworks light up sky

     Crowds for Columbus County’s 2020 Fourth of July fireworks celebration were far from typical Saturday.

     Delayed more than two months by the COVID-19 pandemic, little about the Greater Tabor City Chamber of Commerce sponsored event was normal. Crowds, kept out of Civitan Stadium by social distancing regulations, parked along the drive to the ball field, in the South Columbus parking lot, and along U.S. 701 and some other area roadways, there numbers much smaller than normal.

Fireworks over Civitan Stadium Saturday. (Deuce Niven, TLT)

     Entertainment by Courtney Bronya Prince, the Kevin Sanson Band, and Dustin Chapman with Riley Bunch could be heard by most in the nearby parking areas thanks to professional sound system, and was broadcast on a low-power FM transmitter.

     Emcee Lamont Grate, Tabor City’s Mayor pro tem, kept things moving and read a short roll-call or area veterans who sent their information into the Chamber.

     Chamber President Marylou Molina expressed appreciation for sponsors, and at the end of the evening led the countdown to the fireworks.

     Look for more on the celebration in the next Tabor-Loris Tribune in print and online.

COVID trends: Columbus rate continues to outpace Horry

     Despite lower numbers of confirmed COVID-19 infections in the area in recent weeks, Columbus County continues to significantly outpace neighboring Horry in those numbers, despite significant differences in those populations.

     Since Wednesday Columbus has recorded 51 newly confirmed COVID-19 infections, data from North Carolina’s Department of Health and Human Services showed.

     During that period Horry County has recorded 176 newly confirmed coronavirus infections. Horry’s population is nearly six times that of Horry, and on a per-capita basis the rate of new infections in Columbus is not quite twice that of Horry, the data shows.

     Zip Code data from those agencies showed six new infections in the Loris area; one in Green Sea; three each in Tabor City and Clarendon; one each in Nakina, Fair Bluff and Cerro Gordo; five in Chadbourn; 28 in Whiteville.

Statewide data

  • North Carolina recorded 1,196 new COVID infections and five new related deaths Sunday, pandemic totals now at 184,936 and 3,052 respectively. Statewide 831 people were hospitalized due to the coronavirus, that number down by 39 from Saturday.
  • South Carolina recorded 515 new COVID infections and 24 new related Sunday, those pandemic totals now 129,484 and 2,915 respectively. Statewide 752 people were hospitalized due to the coronavirus, that number down by 54 from Saturday.

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.