April 9, 2020
We wish those who worship in our community a Happy Passover and Happy Easter! Many churches are offering streaming services, and other alternate ways to worship besides being in a church. We thank EVERYONE who has been staying home, except to go to work or pick up essential groceries and prescriptions. Together, we are flattening the curve!
SPEAKING OF WORSHIP: Unified Interfaith Community of Beaufort will offer a service at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Sunday. It will be broadcast on Beaufort County’s The County Channel and various cable channels.
THE NUMBERS: As of Thursday, the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state is 2,792, with 67 deaths. Beaufort County has 184 confirmed cases, and 5 deaths. The county has a rate of 95.7 per 100,000 population, the fifth highest in the state. Read more here.
CITY OF BEAUFORT: City offices are closed for Good Friday. On Monday, April 6, Beaufort City Council enacted a shelter-in-place directive. Later that day, Gov. Henry McMaster announced a stay home or work order, effective April 7. Nothing in the City’s ordinance contradicts what the state is doing.
The City is asking you to stay home, unless you are going to work, going out for essentials (groceries, prescriptions), or getting some exercise in your neighborhood or neighborhood park.
If you do go out to a store, please wear a cloth mask; gloves if you have them, and take wipes. We thank our stores, which have instituted social distancing practices. If possible, only have one member of the household do the shopping.
If you are an employer, please allow as many of your employees to work from home as possible. If they must come to work, please ensure each person is separated by at least six feet.
Here is an FAQ from the City about the stay-at-home ordinance.
GOV. MCMASTER: A glimmer of good news for those who have been furloughed. On Wednesday, Gov. McMaster ordered furloughed employees to receive “COVID-19 Support Payments” from their employers and still qualify for unemployment benefits. The governor’s executive order directs the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce to consider “a voluntary payment, or series of payments, made by an employer to an employee in response to furloughing the employee” as a form of severance pay. This means that the furloughed employee will not lose eligibility for unemployment benefits. Read more here.
See McMaster’s executive orders.
UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS: The South Carolina Department of Employment & Workforce says that the $600 per week extra allowance in unemployment benefits (part of the $2 trillion CARES Act) will be applied retroactively to those who have been laid off or furloughed as a result of COVID-19. The department’s website also says that because of high call volume, “You may receive a recorded message that allows you to reserve your place in line for a return phone call.” Here is the department’s COVID-19 resource hub.
WIC PROGRAM: DHEC says that beginning Monday, April 13, all Women Infant and Children (WIC) nutrition services will be issued remotely. Appointments and the issuance of nutritional services will instead be made over-the-phone. Read more here.
BEAUFORT MEMORIAL HOSPITAL: A HUGE thank you to everyone at Beaufort Memorial Hospital – doctors, nurses, aides, staff of all kind. They are heroes, every one! The hospital’s website has a page of COVID-related information, resources and advice, so make sure you bookmark it to keep up with the latest news.
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.
Are you showing symptoms of COVID-19? Here’s what to do.
If you are interested in making donations to the hospital please go here for a list of needed items, as well as how and where to donate them.
TAX DAY REMINDERS: The federal government has extended the income tax deadline to July 15, 2020. South Carolina also changed its due date to July 15.
Beaufort County: The Beaufort County auditor announced these new deadlines:
Business personal property returns for furniture, fixtures, and equipment and rentals are now due no later than June 1.
Motor vehicle bills will be sent out as normal; however, the South Carolina DMV has waived all late fees for non-commercial vehicles with registrations that expire in March through May. The new due date is July 1.
Watercraft and motor bills (not documented vessels) that are due in May will have a due date of June 30. Bills due in June will have a due date of July 30.
For more information, please contact the Beaufort County Auditor’s Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 843-255-2500.
City of 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. However, if you can pay your taxes by the regular deadline, the City asks you to do so.
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.
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 has already raised $100,000. It has awarded $158,000 in grants already.
MENTAL HEALTH: The Beaufort County Alcohol and Drug Abuse Department is offering telehealth counseling. Find out more here.
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.
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
TAKE A BREAK: A series of videos featuring Beaufort performing and visual artists will bring a smile to your face as you and your family stay at home.