The entire United States of America is under a state of emergency due to the COVID-19 or Coronavirus. This unprecedented event has challenged everyone and everything from our individual way of life to the entire economy.
The health and safety of our residents is our top priority. Mayor Brendon Barber and senior staff are in constant communication via conference calls to assess the current situation. We will continue assessing the situation and will take the necessary measures to protect the health and wellbeing of our residents and visitors. We are also following the state and federal guidelines regarding restrictions on a day-to-day basis.
As of the week of March 16, 2020, Georgetown County Emergency Management Division initiated OpCon 2 (Operation Conditions 2) in response to a state of emergency for the ongoing Coronavirus health threat. OpCon 2 means “Enhanced Awareness” (A Disaster or emergency is likely to affect the county. Emergency operations plans are implemented. The county emergency operations center is partially activated if necessary.). The city will continue in OpCon 2. The city will issue updates also through its radio station at FM 105.7, FaceBook, and website.
The city appreciate residents for taking preventative measures from the State’s Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) seriously such as washing your hands often, not gathering publicly, and staying at home. Those measures not only could help to stop the spread of the virus but may prevent you from getting it and spreading it to loved ones.
The leadership of the City of Georgetown is working diligently and has put measures in place to continue providing essential services to our community under the state of emergency:
- Access to public buildings are restricted to working employees only but services continue to be provided.
- Payments will only be accepted as follows:
- Over the phone (843) 545-4007 or (843) 545-4048.
- Online with debit/credit card at georgetownsc.gov. Effective March 17, 2020, the convenience service fee will be suspended temporarily.
- The drive-through window or the drop off box at City Hall; and
- By mail (PO Box 939, Georgetown, SC 29442)
The City encourages Utility customers to enroll on automatic withdrawal. Please call (843) 545-4007 for instructions.
- The City will not suspend or disconnect utilities for non-payment during the state of emergency. This does not mean that the City will waive payments for the consumption of water, electricity, sewer, stormwater, and trash pickup services. During this period, the City will not send out delinquent notices. The City highly recommends utility customers to pay their bills on time in order for the City to continue providing an acceptable level of services during this emergency situation.
- Permits, licensing, plan reviews, and payment assistance will be handled online or by phone only. Drop off boxes will be installed in the vestibule at City Hall. Call the Planning and Community Development Department at (843-545-4010) for additional information.
- City Council meetings will be held via teleconference or over the Internet. Notices of such meetings will be posted in accordance with the South Carolina Freedom of Information Act.
- The City will not issue public events permits for more than three (3) people. This amount will be updated according to future recommendations from SCDHEC and CDC.
- Police and fire protection services will continue.
SCDHEC GUIDANCE FOR COVID-19 VACCINE ALLOCATION
The South Carolina COVID-19 Vaccine Plan includes three phases of vaccine distribution and administration. In Phase 1, vaccine supply will be limited, and efforts will be focused on rapidly reaching targeted populations, including healthcare personnel, people at high risk, and critical infrastructure workers. For detailed information click here.
Tidelands Health, our region’s leader in COVID-19 response, had been closely following the development of the COVID-19 vaccine and they are preparing to offer vaccinations in a structured way pursuant to state and federal guidelines. For detailed information click here.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have additional information on the COVID-19 vaccine. For detailed information click here.
Messages from Mayor Brendon Barber
FROM GOVERNOR HENRY MCMASTER
- As of Wednesday, March 25, 2020, SC’s Governor Henry McMaster requests all out-of-state visitors to South Carolina who plan to spend two or more nights in the state to self-quarantine for two weeks immediately upon arrival. The request is intended to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus.) The state’s priority is the health and safety of all individuals. South Carolina is taking bold steps now in order to keep everyone safe and eventually return to a preferred destination in months to come.
- Gov. McMaster issues mandatory home or work order. Gov. Henry McMaster has issued several new executive orders including a mandatory order that requires South Carolina residents to further limit their movement and an order for short-term rental operators to stop booking reservations with some exceptions. Click here for details.
Governor McMaster issued Executive Order 2020-23, Third State of Emergency. This order effectively extended the State of Emergency – https://governor.sc.gov/sites/default/files/Documents/Executive-Orders/2020-04-12%20eFILED%20Executive%20Order%20No.%202020-23%20-%20Third%20State%20of%20Emergency%20Due%20to%20COVID-19%20Pandemic.pdf
- Public Boat Landings and Ramps Reopen Friday at noonhttps://governor.sc.gov/sites/default/files/Documents/Executive-Orders/2020-04-16%20eFILED%20Executive%20Order%20No.%202020-25%20-%20Modification%20of%20Emergency%20Restrictions%20for%20Public%20Waters%20%26%20Emergency%20Measures%20for%20Unemployment%20Claims%20%26%20Benefits.pdf
As of April 27, 2020 Gov. Henry McMaster Declares New State of Emergency to Continue State’s Response to COVID-19: https://governor.sc.gov/news/2020-04/gov-henry-mcmaster-declares-new-state-emergency-continue-states-response-covid-19
On April 20, 2020 Governor Henry McMaster as launched accelerateSC, a coordinated COVID-19 advisory team to consider and recommend economic revitalization plans for South Carolina. https://governor.sc.gov/executive-branch/acceleratesc
- Governor Allows Restaurants to Resume Limited Dine-In Service Starting Monday (Source: SC Chamber of Commerce): In a press conference this afternoon, Governor McMaster announced that he is lifting additional restrictions, including allowing restaurants to resume some dine-in service starting at 12:01 on Monday, May 11. This plan marks the beginning of “Phase Two” of the restaurant reopening proposed to the accelerateSC Response Committee.For restaurants seeking to begin limited dine-in service, Governor McMaster released the following guidelines, provided by the SC Restaurant and Lodging Association (SCRLA):
- Only allow 50% of posted occupancy inside, as determined by fire marshals
- Tables should be spaced 6-8 feet apart
- Additional cleaning and sanitizing guidelines for equipment, tables, chairs, etc.
- Additional guidance for health checks for all employees
- Social distancing guidance for employees and customers
- For a full list of guidelines, click here.
In addition to this announcement, Governor McMaster lifted all boating restrictions, as defined by Executive Order 2020-25, effective immediately. All laws and regulations concerning the safe operation of boats in South Carolina will now return to normal. He stressed that law enforcement can still cite, arrest, or disperse any groups of three or more individuals posing a threat to public health or public safety.
Finally, the Governor announced that he plans to decide as early as Monday on opening some close-contact businesses like barbershops, salons, and gyms.
GOV. HENRY MCMASTER LIFTS RESTRICTIONS ON ATTRACTIONS EFFECTIVE FRIDAY, MAY 22. Examples of attraction facilities include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Historic buildings and sites
- Amusement park rides
- Go-Kart tracks
- Bingo facilities (specific guidelines can be found here)
- Miniature golf facilities
Guidelines for attraction facilities can be found here and on the AccelerateSC website, along with guidelines for all recently re-opened businesses.
GOVERNOR LIFTS RESTRICTIONS ON YOUTH AND ADULT RECREATIONAL SPORTS EFFECTIVE MAY 30. Youth and adult sports leagues will be allowed to begin practicing on May 30th, with competitive play resuming on June 15th. Specific guidelines, created by the “Response” component of AccelerateSC, can be found here.
SUMMER CAMPS GUIDELINES: The Department of Social Services and the Department of Health and Environmental Control have established guidelines for those planning to hold camps this summer. Those guidelines can be found here.
US Department of Labor: COVID-19 Information
- DERECHOS DEL EMPLEADO
ACCURATE & VALUABLE RESOURCES
During this time of heightened stress and anxiety, we ask that you please refer to official sources for information.
- Governor Henry McMaster, latest news and executive orders: https://governor.sc.gov/
- Tidelands Health: https://www.tidelandshealth.org/
- SC Department of Environmental Control: https://scdhec.gov/health/infectious-diseases/viruses/coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19
- SCDHEC Care Line at 1-855-472-3432.
- Online COVID-19 Screenings: MUSC https://campaigns.muschealth.org/virtual-care/index.html
- Centers for Disease Control: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/
- Guidance for businesses and employers. This page includes strategies for employers to use now, and information about planning for a potential U.S. outbreak.
- SC Department of Employment and Workforce: https://dew.sc.gov/individuals/apply-for-benefits
- SC Department of Commerce: https://www.sccommerce.com/doing-business-here/join-community/emergency-preparedness
- South Carolina Department of Insurance: https://www.doi.sc.gov/948/COVID-19
- Small Business Administration: https://www.sba.gov/page/guidance-businesses-employers-plan-respond-coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19
- Small Business Development Centers are good resources of information and can offer one-on-one counseling. https://www.coastal.edu/sbdc/ or call 843.349.4010.
- U.S. Chamber of Commerce: https://www.uschamber.com/
- Visit scdmh.net for stress, anxiety and mental health resources from the S.C. Department of Mental Health.
Small Business Support/Resources
Area restaurants are serving patrons via curbside pickup and/or delivery.Local restaurants are serving patrons with curb-side pickup services and some with free delivery services. These businesses are the livelihood of our community, if you can, please continue patronizing them. The Chamber of Commerce is providing helpful information to our local businesses with a daily evening blast. Please go to www.visitgeorge.com for a list of restaurants providing takeout meals and additional useful information for local businesses.
Important Updated Message about Coronavirus (COVID-19) Food Service Restrictions: Retail Food Service Establishments & COVID-19:
The public is encouraged to contact the SCDHEC Care Line at 1-855-472-3432 for general questions regarding COVID-19. The City will remain vigilant of changes to the CDC and DHEC’s protocols and inform the public when these restrictions change or are lifted.
Tidelands Health Hotline: Community members with general questions about COVID-19 can get answers directly from a Tidelands Health nurse through a new hotline. Nurses will be available through the hotline Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The nurse line number is 843-652-8800.
MUSC Health is offering free virtual care consultations and screenings to anyone experiencing COVID-19-like symptoms in South Carolina. Click here to learn more.
- If you need to schedule an appointment with a Tidelands Health physician, please call 1-866-TIDELANDS.
- If you have general questions about coronavirus, please call the DHEC Care Line at 855-472-3432.
- If you have a medical emergency, please call 911.
If you are experiencing stress, anxiety and mental health issues, please visit the SC Department of Mental Health at scdmh.net or call the Waccamaw Center for Mental Health at 843-347-5060.
Reporting Price Gouging
Governor McMaster issued an executive order on price gouging. If you have observed or been a victim of price gouging please do the following:
- Note the time, place, address, and name of the business.
- Note the price you paid.
- Note any prices nearby and get the same information on those businesses.
- Take pictures that identify the business, along with the price.
- Provide your name and contact information.
The Attorney General’s office will conduct an investigation based on that information. You can email the information or documentation to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 803-737-3953.
Links with important information
Useful information on the COVID-19 may be found at:
- What you need to know about COVID-19: https://www.scdhec.gov/sites/default/files/media/document/Information_and_14-day_Monitoring_Sheet.pdf
- Centers for Disease Control (CDC): https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
- SCDHEC Care Line at 1-855-472-3432 and https://www.scdhec.gov/infectious-diseases/viruses/coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19
- Tidelands Health: https://www.tidelandshealth.org/coronavirus/
- Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC): https://web.musc.edu/coronavirus-updates
- Governor Henry McMaster’s Executive Orders: https://governor.sc.gov/executive-branch/executive-orders
- Small Business Administration: https://www.sba.gov/disaster-assistance/coronavirus-covid-19
- Municipal Association of South Carolina: https://www.masc.sc/Pages/Coronavirus.aspx
- National League of Cities: https://covid19.nlc.org/