Vaccination events are ramping up as COVID impacts decline

NC DHHS Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen gets her COVID-19 shot in Wake County.

By DEUCE NIVEN

tribdeuce@tabor-loris.com

     Mass vaccination events in Columbus and Horry counties are coming soon, some local pharmacies are staging clinics, as the Carolinas and the nation are beginning to see some light at the end of the pandemic total.

     Five-day face-to-face instruction is being rolled out in the Horry County schools while COVID-19 numbers there show signs of a dip, plunging in the past week to the north in Columbus.

     This post will cover these topics and may be updated:

  • Columbus sets mass vaccination event
  • McLeod clinic at Myrtle Beach Mall Thurs.
  • Loris pharmacies have J&J vaccines
  • Horry middle, high schools ready for 5-day face-to-face learning
  • COVID’s toll plunges in Columbus
  • Virus impact numbers dip in Horry

Columbus sets mass vaccination event

     A COVID-19 vaccination event with 1,000 Johnson & Johnson vaccines available is scheduled for March 20 at Southeastern Community College.

     Scheduled from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., vaccines will be distributed on a first-come, first served basis to those 18 years and older who are currently in Group 1, 2 or 3 of the NC COVID-19 vaccination plan.

     Appointments are not being taken for this event.

     This will be a drive-in event, so no lines to stand in. Those eligible for vaccines include healthcare workers, long-term care workers, those 65 and older, frontline essential workers including manufacturing, education, essential goods, food, agriculture, government and community services, public safety and transportation.

     Sponsors include the Columbus County Health Department, Columbus Regional Healthcare System, Columbus County Emergency Services, and other Columbus County departments.

McLeod clinic at Myrtle Beach Mall Thurs.

     McLeod Health Seacoast is opening a COVID-19 vaccine clinic at the Myrtle Beach Mall Thursday.

     This location will offer weekly first dose appointments for Phases 1A and 1B, criteria based on CDC and SCDHEC guidelines. Second dose appointments will be made at that time.

     To schedule an appointment, please visit vaxlocator.dhec.sc.gov or call 1-866-365-8110.

     “During the past week, McLeod Health Seacoast has administered more than 6,500 COVID-19 vaccines,” said Mcleod Seacoast Administrator Monica Vehige. “The intent is to vaccinate thousands of people in Horry County during the weeks ahead.”

     This site at the Myrtle Beach Mall allows those seeking the vaccine convenience and ease of parking. The clinic will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. this Thursday and Friday.

     Myrtle Beach Mall is located at 10177 N. Kings Highway, Myrtle Beach, SC 29572. The vaccine clinic is located next to Belk Department Store. Enter through main mall access next to Books-A-Million.

     McLeod Health Loris also plans a COVID-19 vaccine clinic at the Center for Health & Fitness in Loris. Days and times will be announced as vaccine allotment is provided from SCDHEC.

     McLeod Health will continue to announce the days and times of the clinics as vaccine allotment is provided from SCDHEC. Visit here for more information.

Loris pharmacies have J&J vaccines

     COVID-19 vaccines are being received at pharmacies across South Carolina, including some in Loris, the state’s Department of Health and Environmental Control has announced.

     These one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine are for those 18 and older in Phases 1A and 1B, criteria based on CDC and SCDHEC guidelines.

     Loris pharmacies taking part include Meds and More, 3914 Main Street, and Powers Pharmacy of Loris, 3985 Meeting Street.

     To schedule an appointment, contact the pharmacy directly.

     To find other COVID-19 vaccination locations in South Carolina, visit https://vaxlocator.dhec.sc.gov/ or call 1-866-365-8110

Horry middle, high schools ready for 5-day face-to-face learning

     Green Sea Floyds Middle and High School returns to five-day, face-to-face instruction this Friday as the Horry County Schools continue to phase in that option, beginning last month with the lower grades.

     This does not affect the K-12 HCS Virtual Program, school district leaders emphasized.

     “If a child is currently enrolled in the K-12 HCS Virtual Program, this message does not impact the student,” a district news release said.

     Parents will receive at the minimum a 5-day calendar notice before the change impacts their child’s school.

     Schools returning to five-day, face-to-face instruction Monday include Early College High School, the Scholars Academy, the Academy for the Arts, Science & Technology (AAST), and North Myrtle Beach High School.

     “Like many school districts in South Carolina, HCS has been working expeditiously to install plexiglass in our schools,” the news release said. “As per South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) recommendations, this will allow student spacing of three feet apart.

     “This additional mitigation effort will allow us to safely bring more students back into the classroom and increase our face-to-face instruction from two days per week to five days per week.

     While plexiglass will reduce social distancing requirements in the classroom from six to three feet, masks/face coverings will be required.”

 COVID’s toll plunges in Columbus

     It’s been months since COVID-19’s toll in Columbus County has been smaller, a single death and 89 newly confirmed cases for the week ending Tuesday, data from the NC Department of Health and Human Services shows.

     In the previous week six county residents were claimed by the coronavirus, 141 infected, the DHHS data showed.

     That brings loss of Columbus lives to COVID during the pandemic to 147, with 5,950 residents confirmed as contracting the virus.

     A resident of the Hallsboro Zip Code was the only fatality attributed to COVID-19 for the week.

     Whiteville, again, had by far the highest number of residents newly confirmed with the virus, 28 for the week, Zip Code data from DHHS showed. Chadbourn had fewer than half that total, 12, Hallsboro recorded 11.

     Zip Codes with single digit counts of confirmed cases for the week included Clarendon with five; Tabor City and Cerro Gordo with four each; Evergreen, Lake Waccamaw, and Delco each with three; Bolton with two. There were no newly confirmed cases for the Nakina and Riegelwood Zip Codes, the data showed.

     Schools: In the past week one student at Williams Township School has tested positive for the coronavirus, as have a single staff member each at Evergreen Elementary School and the Columbus County Schools’ Central Office.

     North Carolina reported 997 new COVID infections Tuesday and 17 associated deaths, bringing those pandemic totals to 875,903 and 11,552 respectively.

     Statewide 1,147 people were hospitalized due to the coronavirus Tuesday, that number down up by 21 from Monday, the first daily increase reported in a week.

Virus impact numbers dip in Horry

     COVID-19 death and infection numbers showed a dip in Horry County during the week ending Tuesday, as compared to the previous five days, data from South Carolina’s Department of Health and Environmental Control data shows.

     Five Horry residents were confirmed to have died of coronavirus associated illness during the week, just one fewer than the previous week.

     Three of the five who died were described as elderly, two middle-aged, those dates of death between Feb. 26 and March 3.

     There 283 newly confirmed virus cases in Horry for the week, a strong decline from 488 the previous week, the DHEC data showed.

     Twenty-five of those newly confirmed cases came from the Loris area, two from Green Sea.

     South Carolina has recorded 451,026 COVID cases during the pandemic, 7,751 deaths, those numbers up by 425 and 3 respectively since Monday.

     Statewide 604 people were hospitalized due to the coronavirus Tuesday, that number down by 4 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.