Mass vaccination clinics set as COVID continues to claim lives

By DEUCE NIVEN

tribdeuce@tabor-loris.com

     Mass COVID-19 vaccination clinics announced Tuesday by McLeod Health can’t come soon enough for many, as the coronavirus continues to claim lives and infect people throughout the region.

     This post will cover these topics and may be updated:

  • McLeod Health sets mass vaccination clinics
  • Seven COVID deaths, 134 new cases for Columbus
  • Virus numbers fluctuate in Horry

McLeod Health sets mass vaccination clinics

     A pair of mass COVID-19 vaccine clinics for first doses of the Moderna vaccine are scheduled for next week in Myrtle Beach and Darlington.

     McLeod Health in cooperation with a large number of community partners, emergency management support, SCDHEC, and local officials in Myrtle Beach and Darlington has scheduled the clinics, with 5,000 doses to be available at each site.

     Only those in 1A vaccination status, including those 65 and older and frontline health care workers, are eligible for these clinics.

     Appointments must be made in advance for each of the mass vaccine clinics. Those appointments may be made online here or by calling 1-866-365-8110.

     Those being vaccinated should bring a driver’s license or other photo ID to verify age and 1A status.

     Clinics – Clinics will be held in Myrtle Beach next Tuesday and Wednesday, next Friday at Darlington Raceway.

     Those details include:

  • Myrtle Beach Convention Center, 2101 North Oak Street, Myrtle Beach, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on March 2 and 3 for first doses for all who meet Phase 1A criteria. Parking is available in the parking area beside the Convention Center. Shuttle service will be available to assist those with limited mobility. Please do not arrive early for your scheduled appointment time.
  • Darlington Raceway, 1301 Harry Byrd Hwy, Darlington, on March 5 for those who meet Phase 1A criteria. Those attending the “Your Checkered Flag to Better Health” event will enter the Racetrack at Gate 40 located on Hwy 151, passing through the infamous Racetrack “Tunnel” and onto the Racetrack Infield where they will receive their vaccine at the Racetrack Cup Garage. This will be a drive through event, those taking part will not be required to exit their vehicles. Carpooling is encouraged, but those receiving vaccines need to have car window access.

     Second doses – “The goal of these clinics is to vaccinate as many of our local residents as we can,” said Myrtle Beach Mayor Brenda Bethune. “I appreciate our partnership with McLeod Health as we work to end COVID-19. Our City of Myrtle Beach staff, hundreds of volunteers including first responders, will work alongside of McLeod Health staff to safely and efficiently vaccinate 5,000 people in two days.

     “We are pleased to offer this health service to our community at no charge.”

     McLeod Health has received a surplus of Moderna doses for these events. Moderna requires two doses spaced at least 28 days or  four weeks apart. Those getting the vaccine must get both doses of the same brand.

     Second dose clinics will be held on March 30 and March 31, at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center for those who receive their first vaccination at that location; and April 1 at Darlington Speedway for those vaccinated there.

     “We are honored to partner with McLeod Health in this tremendous community health outreach event,” said Darlington Raceway President Kerry Tharp. “Both our teams desire the same outcome – improved health and quality of life for all our people.”

Seven COVID deaths, 134 new cases for Columbus

     Health officials in Columbus worried that a dip in COVID-19 related activity that seemed evident a week ago was too good to be true, were proven right.

     Seven county residents have been reported as coronavirus associated fatalities in the week ending Tuesday, another 134 county residents testing positive for the disease, NC Department of Health and Human Services data shows.

     Three of those lost to the virus were residents of the Whiteville Zip Code, two from Riegelwood, one each from Fair Bluff and Delco, the DHHS data showed.

     Newly confirmed COVID cases continued to decline, to 134 for the week ending Tuesday from 172 for the previous seven days. Again, the bulk of the new cases were from the Whiteville Zip Code, with 57, Chadbourn following with 19, Tabor City with 10, the rest of the county in single digits except Lake Waccamaw, with none.

     COVID-19 has claimed 140 Columbus residents since the beginning of the pandemic nearly a year ago, and infected 5,720. Whiteville leads the case/death total at 1,800/49; followed by Tabor City, 1,414/33; Chadbourn, 656/19; Hallsboro, 384/7.

     Other case/death totals include Fair Bluff, 112/7; Clarendon, 208/3; and Cerro Gordo, 184/2.

     North Carolina reported 1,514 new COVID infections Tuesday and 31 associated deaths, bringing those pandemic totals to 846,284 and 10,965 respectively.

     Statewide 1,563 people were hospitalized due to the coronavirus Tuesday, that number down by 4 from Monday, continuing a trend of fewer hospitalizations.

Virus numbers fluctuate in Horry

     COVID-19 associated deaths involving Horry County residents doubled in the week ending Tuesday from the previous seven days, while newly confirmed virus infections dipped, South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control data showed.

     With 16 residents confirmed as claimed by the coronavirus in the past week, the pandemic total of Horry lives lost to the pandemic reached 406.

     Eleven of those deaths involved elderly people, five middle-aged, with dates of death between Jan. 22 and Feb. 19.

     Another 691 newly confirmed cases for the week ending Tuesday in the county brought that pandemic total to 26,479. That compared to 849 newly confirmed cases the previous week.

     Data presented on DHEC’s online dashboard changed effective Tuesday, with Zip Code data no longer available and no clear pandemic total for deaths by county. DHEC’s death total for Horry on Monday, with two additional confirmed cases Tuesday, brought that total to 406.

     There was no response to a request for an explanation of the dashboard changes in time for deadline for this story.

     Without Zip Code data for Tuesday, the previous DHEC information showed 30 newly confirmed COVID cases for the Loris area between last Tuesday and Monday, 3 for Green Sea, bringing those pandemic totals to 1,682 and 225 respectively.

     South Carolina has recorded 437,806 COVID cases during the pandemic, 7,436 deaths, those numbers up by 718 and 21 respectively since Monday.

     Statewide 977 people were hospitalized due to the coronavirus Tuesday, that number down by 16 since Monday.

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.