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March 26, 2020
We know this is a very unsettling time for everyone. Your City government is making decisions day by day with the safety of our residents, businesses and their workers, and our own employees uppermost in mind. As of now, Gov. McMaster says that voluntary social distancing is working. So we ask you to keep doing that – Stay home. Go out only for essentials. Practice social distancing when you go out.
Staying home saves lives!
NUMBERS GOING UP: The numbers of confirmed cases of COVID-19 continue to grow in South Carolina. As of Thursday afternoon, there are 456 confirmed cases with 29 in Beaufort County (three new cases since Wednesday). Nine people in the state have died from this disease. See DHEC map showing where cases are. DHEC’s main page
GOV. MCMASTER: At his press conference Thursday, Gov. McMaster said that people are complying voluntarily with “stay at home and social distance” practices. He said that traffic on interstates in South Carolina was half of what it is normally. Dr. Linda Bell, state epidemiologist, projected that the state would have 2,600+ cumulative cases by April 2 and 8,000 cases by May 2. She stressed that if you are feeling ill, stay home, unless your symptoms are worsening. Find the latest updates from the governor on Office of Governor website.
Remember, under the governor’s directive, no groups larger than three people are allowed to congregate in public spaces (except for immediate families).
UNEMPLOYMENT: More than 1,000 Beaufort County residents filed for unemployment last week, a huge spike. Please remember that many workers in our community, particularly in the hospitality industry, are facing very difficult times right now. Relief will be coming to them under the $2 trillion economic rescue plan awaiting House passage and the President’s signature – but it won’t be immediate.
CITY OF BEAUFORT: City offices are closed to the public to protect our employees and our residents. Many of our employees are working from home. They are answering phone calls and emails during business hours. This press release has more information.
Our building and code inspectors are continuing to work in the field. Please stay 6 feet away from the inspector, or stay in your car until the inspection is done. Thank you!
Waterfront Park playground will be closed for 24 hours on Wednesday, April 1, to allow the Greenery to spray for fire ants.
BEAUFORT MEMORIAL HOSPITAL: The hospital has set up a screening tent in the parking lot next to its emergency room for patients with mild fever and respiratory complaints. This will allow the hospital to test these patients while protecting ER patients without these symptoms from exposure. Details can be found here. Beaufort Memorial primary care doctors will now see most patients via telemedicine. Read more here.
If you are interested in making donations to the hospital please go to www.beaufortmemorial.org/covid19support for a list of needed items, as well as how and where to donate them. All medical supplies, or Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), must be new, unused and sealed in its original packaging. Go to Beaufort Memorial Hospital’s website for the latest information on what you should do if you believe you have symptoms.
HELPING EACH OTHER: Beaufort County is keeping an up-to-date list on non-profits that provide help for those in need, including food pantries. Find it here.
The Community Foundation of the Low Country has begun a COVID-19 Response Fund to rapidly deploy resources to community-based, frontline nonprofit organizations addressing the COVID-19 pandemic in Beaufort, Jasper, Hampton and Colleton counties. It is seeded with $100,000 and the foundation is challenging the community to match it.
BUSINESS RESOURCES: The Beaufort County Regional Chamber of Commerce has a Coronavirus Resource Center devoted to resources for businesses in our community and suggestions on how we can safely support those businesses. Find it here.
Beaufort County also has a list of business resources. Find it here.
Congressman Joe Cunningham has a list of federal, state and local resources for small businesses. Find it here.
Law firm Gignilliat, Savitz & Bettis, LLP has prepared a resource page for South Carolina employers that includes regulatory and unemployment information. This Families First Coronavirus Response Act FAQ is from the U.S. Department of Labor.
RESTAURANTS, ETC: Beaufort Curbside To Go & Delivery Facebook page has the latest on our many restaurants and how we can support them (safely!)
The Beaufort CVB (Visit Beaufort, Port Royal & the Sea Islands) has a page devoted to updates on events (many canceled); interactive maps, etc. Find it here.
BAHA (Beaufort Area Hospitality Association) has a Facebook page where it is posting jobs. As we know, many of those in the hospitality industry (wait staff, chefs, tour operators, etc.,) are hurting right now. If you know of job opportunities, please send to BAHA. Find it here. BAHA also has a resource page. Find it here.
BAHA has also set up a #SAVEYOURFAVES for #LATERDAYS to get the word out on local restaurants and businesses that offer gift cards for purchase on their websites or by calling the business. Purchase a gift card from one of your favorite local restaurants or double #GIVE by purchasing one and gifting to a local first responder, police officer, nurse or healthcare staff, or anyone directly working to help us fight this devastating virus.Website w/participating Locations: https://bit.ly/3dthmjX
HEALTHY LIVING TIPS: Have your kids (or you!) check out these cams from the Monterey Bay Aquarium and San Diego Zoo. The zoo and aquarium are closed, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the sea life and animal life virtually. Also great for kids: illustrator Wendy MacNaughton’s #DrawTogether live class on her Instagram page at 1 p.m. M-F. https://www.instagram.com/wendymac/
ONLINE EXERCISE: A big thank you to the local exercise and yoga studios, as well as the YMCA, for offering online classes and videos. Find them on this Facebook post.
Remember, you can’t wash your hands too much! Keep your distance, but smile and say hi to your neighbor when you pass them on the street. We’ll get through this! #togetherbft