Covid-19 Virus

Note: The City of Beaufort will officially open to the public on June 15, 2020. Read more here

Overview

City of Beaufort officials are monitoring the status of the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) in the State of South Carolina and in the region. We are following daily guidance from the South Carolina Department of Health & Environmental Control (DHEC), the lead Public Health agency in the state.

On March 13, 2020, the President issued a Proclamation on Declaring a National Emergency concerning the COVID-19 disease outbreak, and Governor McMaster declared a state of emergency in South Carolina. On March 31, McMaster ordered non-essential businesses and establishments closed. Subsequent modifications opened public boat ramps, beaches (leaving the decision to local officials), and some non-essential businesses. For a list of Executive Orders by the governor, please visit SC.GOV.

On March 13, 2020, the City of Beaufort issued a Declaration of Medical Emergency Order (PDF).

On March 17, 2020 the Operational Condition 1 (OPCON) (PDF) has been in effect as of 12:00 PM.

On March 25, 2020 the City of Beaufort issued an extension on the Declaration of Medical Emergency Order - Extended (PDF)

On April 6, City Council enacted a shelter-in-place order. Gov. McMaster issued a home or work order the same day. 

See FAQ on City shelter-in-place order.

On June 15, the City reopens its doors to the public, although meetings continue to be held via Zoom.

On June 29, City Council passes mask ordinance.

FAQ on mask ordinance
FAQ en espanol

The more EACH of us does our part, the faster we as a community and a nation will get a handle on this virus.

Letter from Mayor Billy Keyserling urging residents to shelter in place.

City update May 1
City update April 20
City update April 16
City update April 9
City update April 6
City update April 3
City update April 1
City update March 31
City  update March 30
City update March 27
City update March 26
City update March 24
City update March 23
City update March 20

What the city is doing

The City of Beaufort, in coordination with Beaufort County and other municipalities in the county, is taking these measures:

  • All City offices will be closed to the public beginning Monday, March 23. 
  • Special City Council meetings will be held via the app Zoom, and streamed on the city’s Facebook page. Some committee and task force meetings may be held via Zoom.
    • Transactions will be conducted online. Payments can be made online (www.cityofbeaufort.org) or via mail (1911 Boundary St., Beaufort, SC 29902).
    • Some employees will be working in offices; many will be working from home. Phone calls and emails to city offices will be answered during business hours.
  • All public safety personnel will work their normal shifts and schedules.
  • Beaufort City Hall will have drop-off boxes in the lobby for plans and permits to be left.
  • Community Development (Planning Office) has enlarged its online Dropbox to accept larger files.
  • Building, Fire, and Code enforcement activities will continue as normal with social distancing applied to all interactions.
  • All parks in the City will be closed to public events and programming. Playgrounds are closed. Restrooms in the parks are closed. Parks will be open for passive recreation, such as walking or jogging, but people must observe social distancing.  
  • City staffing will be reduced to minimal levels. Non-essential staff will work from home.
    • Buildings Codes
      • Individuals are encouraged to call prior to submitting to discuss scope of work with staff. 
      • Staff will be able to determine if the online submission is applicable. 
      • You can submit to us at permits@cityofbeaufort.org or contact us at 843-525-7049.
    • Municipal Court
      • Court sessions are resuming May 14. Defendants will receive a summons in the mail at the address on file. Defendants are encouraged to contact the court before their court date for information regarding reductions in fines or diversionary programs; call 843-525-7036. Defendants are also encouraged to email proof of compliance to courtcontacts@cityofbeaufort.org.
      • What to expect when appearing on your trial date?
        A check-in station will be set up outside the Courthouse near the disability-accessible entry. The docket will be checked to ensure you are on it and your temperature may be taken.
        Other guidelines:
        •    Face masks are required to enter the courtroom.
        •    Social distancing guidelines will be in force.
        •    One defendant will appear in court at a time.
        •    City staff will wear gloves and face masks.
        •    If paperwork is required after court, it will be emailed or mailed to you.
        If you are ill, please contact the court team at 843-525-7036.
      • Administrative offices are open 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday-Friday.
    • Finance Department:
    • Fire Department
      • Participation by operational personnel in community out-reach and events is suspended. (Blood pressure checks, smoke alarm installations, community forums, etc.)
      • Community CPR classes are suspended.
      • Public visits and tours of the fire stations are suspended.
      • Please do not bring food or provision donations to the fire stations until after the threat of COVID-19 has passed.
      • The administrative office will be operating virtually and via telephone.
      • For non-emergency administrative service from the department please call 843-525-7055 and your needs will be met on a case by case basis.
      • For emergent service continue to call 911.
    • Police Department
      • The Administrative Offices of the Beaufort Police Department are closed until further notice. 
      • This will NOT affect police patrols. 
      • If you require the assistance of an officer, please call the non-emergency dispatch number at 843-524-2777
      • or 911 in an emergency.
  • Concierge service for businesses

Call City Hall at 843-525-7070 for information.

Latest updates

About the virus

Prevention

There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wear a cloth face mask in public, and maintain social distancing.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

Those with questions about COVID-19 can call the DHEC Care Line at 1-855-472-3432. Staff is answering calls from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week.