Pandemic surges prompt Carolinas pleas; COVID claims four in Horry; prison outbreak grows in CC

By DEUCE NIVEN

tribdeuce@tabor-loris.com

     Both Carolina’s reported COVID-19 new case records on Friday, prompting pleas from health leaders North and South to issue pleas for the public to use mask and social distancing precautions.

     Four new coronavirus deaths involving Horry citizens were reported Friday as the county’s streak of days with more than 100 newly confirmed cases reach ten.

In Columbus County an outbreak is growing at a state prison.

     This post will cover these topics and may be updated:

  • Carolinas leaders plead for pandemic precautions
  • For more COVID deaths for Horry
  • Columbus Correctional outbreak is growing

Carolinas leaders plead for pandemic precautions

     COVID-19 new case records were shattered in the Carolinas on Friday, prompting urgent pleas from health leaders north and south to adhere to mask, social distancing and hand washing protocols to slow the spread of the disease that has claimed more than 10,000 lives in the two states since March.

     “No one else should have to die at the hands of this silent killer,” said South Carolina State Epidemiologist Dr. Linda Bell. “It is within all of our powers to stop COVID-19.

     South Carolina recorded 3,137 newly confirmed coronavirus infections Friday.

     “As we each wait patiently for our turn to receive the COVID-19 vaccines, let’s keep doing our part by wearing our masks and practicing social distancing,” Dr. Bell said.

     North Carolina Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services Dr. Mandy Cohen said the surge of 7,540 new COVID cases for the state on Friday along reflected the impact of Thanksgiving gatherings in a variety of settings.

     Dr. Cohen called the surge “staggering and alarming,” and also repeated her frequently stated warning for all to practice the “3Ws.”

     “Do not wait until it is you or your loved one sick or alone in the hospital or you are facing the loss of a loved one to wear a mask,” Dr. Cohen said. Wait 6 feet apart, and wash your hands often. Act now.

     “Please ask yourself what you can do to help slow the spread of this virus and save lives.”

     Dr. Cohen also offered a reminder that Gov. Roy Cooper has issued a “Modified Stay at Home Order” effective tonight.

     “This order requires people to stay at home between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.,” Dr. Cohen said. “Businesses including restaurants, bars, entertainment venues, personal care businesses, most retail stores and more, will be required to close by 10 p.m. In addition, all onsite alcohol consumption sales must end by 9 p.m.”

     South Carolina Interim Public Health Director Dr. Brannon Taxler spoke of pending vaccines, and said it’s not time to be complacent about COVIID-19.

     “While the arriving vaccine is the light at the end of the tunnel, it will be months before there is enough vaccine available for everyone,” dr. Taxler said. “It is incumbent upon all of us to continue to take actions aimed at saving lives.”

     COVID-19 guidance from South Carolina includes:

  • Wearing a face mask
  • Social distancing from others by at least six feet
  • Getting tested and staying home when you’re sick
  • Limiting contact with those outside your household

For more COVID deaths for Horry

     Four more deaths associated with the COVID-19 pandemic were reported for Horry County by South Carolina’s Department of Health and Environmental Control on Friday.

     Those deaths all involved elderly residents who died on Dec. 4, Dec. 5, and two on Dec. 8, DHEC data showed.

     Horry also had its tenth day in a row of more than 100 newly confirmed COVID-19 cases, the DHEC data showing 101.

     Pandemic totals for Horry topped 15,000 confirmed cases, the total now 15,002, with 239 associated deaths, DHEC reported.

     Zip Code data showed single new cases for both the Loris and Green Sea areas, bringing those pandemic totals to 815 at 92 respectively.

     South Carolina has recorded 228,261 COVID cases during the pandemic, 4,332 deaths, those numbers up by 3,137 and 42 respectively since Thursday.

     Statewide 1,234 people were hospitalized due to the coronavirus Friday, that number up by 2 from Thursday.

Columbus Correctional outbreak is growing

     A COVID-19 outbreak at Columbus Correctional Institution is growing as the county’s total of newly confirmed cases continues at a high rate, data from two state agencies show.

     Confirmed COVID cases at CCI have risen by 27 since Thursday, to a pandemic total of 95, with 31 cases currently active that number up by 11 from Thursday, state Department of Public Safety data showed Friday.

     No new cases at Tabor Correctional Institution were reflected in the DPS data Friday, the pandemic total there at 562 with 4 active cases.

     A total of 36 new coronavirus cases for the county were reported on the state’s Department of Health and Human Services daily dashboard.

     Zip Code data showed Whiteville, which includes Columbus Correctional, with 11 newly confirmed cases, Tabor City with 8, Chadbourn with 3, and the rest of the county’s Zip Codes with 3 or fewer.

     North Carolina reported 7,540 new COVID infections Friday, a pandemic record, and 38 associated deaths, bringing those pandemic totals to 423,623 and 5,752 respectively.

     Statewide 2,514 people were hospitalized due to the coronavirus Friday, up by 70 from 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.