I am devoting this update to the most recent information related to COVID-19 (Corona Virus Disease 2019). If you have questions after reading this information, let me know.
GOVERNOR MCMASTER’S EMERGENCY DECLARATIONS: On Friday, Governor McMaster declared a state of emergency. Since that time, here are the relevant orders that have resulted:
- All public schools – preschool, K-12, technical colleges, and universities – are closed March 16 – March 31 to reduce the spread of the virus.
- School districts should have plans in place today to provide breakfast and lunch to students who need those meals and educational instruction to students – either online or by sending assignments home. I encourage you to visit your district’s website for information:
Aiken | Edgefield | Lexington One | Lexington Three | McCormick | Saluda
- We do not know yet whether students will be required to make up days that are missed. I hope the virtual and home instruction will prevent make-up days, but that decision will be made later.
- The governor does not have authority over private schools and private daycares. Those businesses will make their own decisions.
- All state government offices will remain open for operation during normal business hours. Agencies have been asked to allow some employees to work from home, but offices are open.
- Visitation to nursing homes and assisted living facilities will be restricted with the exception of end-of-life situations.
- Visitation at state prisons and local jails has been suspended in all 46 counties.
- State price gouging laws are in place.
- Governor McMaster has encouraged people to cancel or postpone large public gatherings of 100 or more people.
- Governor McMaster has urged utilities not to cancel or suspend essential services for nonpayment during the declared state of emergency.
28 CONFIRMED CASES OF COVID-19 IN SC – As of Sunday night, DHEC was monitoring 28 South Carolinians who had tested positive for COVID-19. You can see DHEC’s press releases here to learn about the patients, where they are located, and the information DHEC has about how the patients contracted the virus.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU DEVELOP SYMPTOMS – Not everyone who has a fever or cough needs to be tested for COVID-19. If you have symptoms, you can be screened FOR FREE here. The health professional will determine if you need to be tested. You can also visit your family doctor.
HOW YOU CAN STAY SAFE – Here are a number of common-sense measures you can take to stay safe:
- If you’re sick, stay home. Avoid contact with other people who are sick.
- Wash your hands with soap and water regularly. Soap and water kills the virus.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands. If you do touch your eyes, nose, or mouth, wash your hands.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or your elbow.
- Clean touched services frequently
- Set up a separate room for household members who are sick in order to limit contact and reduce the spread.
PLEASE check in with family and friends who live alone, especially those who are elderly or have pre-existing health conditions that make them susceptible to this virus.
SENATE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK – The Senate will meet on Tuesday to discuss additional funding to DHEC to combat the spread of COVID-19. The Finance Committee will meet at 11:00, and the full Senate will meet at 2:00. You can watch those meetings here. The Senate will likely not meet on Wednesday or Thursday of this week.
P.O. Box 551
Edgefield, SC 29824
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Cell Phone – (803) 480-0419