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April 3, 2020
We have 30 days to flatten the curve. Stay home. Save lives. A big thank you to all who are doing that.
THE NUMBERS: As of Friday, the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state is 1,700, with 34 deaths. Beaufort County has 131 confirmed cases, and two deaths reported. See DHEC map showing where cases are. (In Beaufort County, these numbers do not include confirmed cases at Parris Island or the Marine Corps Air Station.)
MASKS: Late Friday, the CDC recommended that whenever you go out in public, you wear a cloth mask. This is NOT mandatory, but a suggestion because many carriers of the virus show no symptoms. YouTube has a ton of videos showing how to make a mask with materials from home. Bandannas, scarves and wide headbands can work to. Here is an article that tells you how to make a mask at home.
UNEMPLOYMENT: As more South Carolinians are applying for unemployment, the SC Department of Employment and Workforce (SCDEW), which manages unemployment, acknowledges that the volume of calls has caused system issues, including difficulty getting through to make a TelClaim. The department is keeping the public informed on its Facebook page, and it adds this: “In the meantime, we are also asking for you to utilize the resources on our website (dew.sc.gov), COVID-19 Resource Hub, which can be accessed from the homepage of our website and the DEW Youtube page, which can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/cha…/UChlual2_-yRuKdgTwcIMmLQ/videos
While not all, many of the calls we have received are questions that can be found by searching on our site.”
SCDEW also said its claimant portal will be down from 11 p.m.-3 a.m. for the foreseeable future as upgrades are made to its system.
GOV. MCMASTER: On Friday, the governor ordered the immediate suspension of short-term rentals to people coming from CDC-identified hot spots, including New York, New Jersey, Connecticut. This suspension applies to hotels, motels, inns, B&Bs, time-shares, VRBOs, and Air B&B. He also ordered the closing as of 5 p.m. Monday another round of non-essential businesses, including department stores, home goods stores, sporting goods stories, jewelry stores, and furniture stores. He declined to issue a stay-at-home order.
CITY OF BEAUFORT: Public boat landings and playgrounds at City parks are closed. Our parks ARE still open for your enjoyment, but visitors MUST keep their distance from each other. And we encourage you to safely enjoy walking and taking bike rides in your own neighborhood – with a friendly wave to your neighbors – but please, keep to that important 6-foot rule!
Residents of Beaufort MUST make every effort to stay at home, and only go out for essentials. If it’s necessary to go out, please just have one member of the household run the errands if possible. Read more here.
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!
BEAUFORT COUNTY: Beaufort County has a resource page for residents and businesses that you can find here.
BEAUFORT MEMORIAL HOSPITAL: Have you seen the hospital’s #StayAtHome challenge? The best thing we can do for all the doctors, nurses, aides and service staff at BMH is to stay home, so that we don’t contribute to the spread of COVID-19.
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. Patients MUST have a doctor’s order to be tested. 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. Go to Beaufort Memorial Hospital’s website for the latest information on what you should do if you believe you have symptoms.
BEAUFORT JASPER WATER & SEWER: A plea from them – don’t flush any paper products in the toilet other than toilet paper. It’s gunking up pipes and plants.
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 United Way of the Low Country has a helpline. Please call 843-524-4357(HELP). United Way has also started a COVID-19 relief fund, and is asking for donations. More information here.
Help of Beaufort, 1810 Ribaut Road, Port Royal, is open 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Mon-Fri. They have groceries and gently used clothing. Curbside grocery pick-up now and clothing racks and shoes outside. All of our food and clothing is free. We are a USDA certified pantry. Here is a win-win: Donate $35 to Help of Beaufort, which provides services for those in need, and you can get a smoked ham for Easter. Find details 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.
The Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulations is extending the license renewal deadline for licenses, registrations, and permits scheduled to renew during the months of April, May, June, July, and August. The new renewal deadline is extended to September 30. Full information here.
Reminder: Beaufort City Council waived certain penalties and fees for late payment of business license renewals or hospitality and accommodations tax filings until June 20. Read more here.
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
TALKING TO YOUR KIDS: There are many sites that have suggestions from experts about how to talk to your children during this unsettling time. Here are a few: KidsHealth; PBS; CDC.
MORE KIDS: Kids can learn easy, healthy recipes from Delish. NASA’s free Space Center Houston app lets kids explore virtual reality experiences, take astronaut selfies, and follow along through an audio tour of its educational space center. 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/
LIONS, TIGERS AND BEARS: The Cincinnati Zoo is doing a Home Safari Facebook Live daily at 3 p.m. 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.
GARDENING: Check out the timely columns from Master Gardeners of the Low Country. Soothe your soul, create beauty: http://lowcountrymga.org/gardening-in-the-lowcountry/
BIKING: If you are using the Spanish Moss Trail, make sure you keep your social distance of 6 feet and keep your group to no more than three people.
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