COVID-19 spreading in state, county

in Coronavirus/Health by

Beaufort County’s mask ordinance closes gaps

By Mike McCombs

Last week was another big week for COVID-19 in South Carolina and in Beaufort County.

On average, in Beaufort County, there were 52.4 new cases each day in the week ending Monday, July 6. For the state, that number was 1,604.1

Both of those numbers are up from the previous seven-day period, when there were an average of 38.9 and 1,263.6 new cases daily in Beaufort County and the state of South Carolina, respectively. 

Those are increases of 35 and 27 percent, respectively, as well.

Saturday, July 4 saw the state set a new record with 1,836 new cases. Beaufort County set its own high-water mark on Tuesday, June 30, with 71.

And the positive test rate on Friday, July 3 was a record 20.7 percent.

3 Beaufort County deaths in first week of July

There have already been three deaths from COVID-19 in July in Beaufort County. There were only six deaths reported in all of June. 

According to both DHEC and the Beaufort County Coroner’s Office, there have been 23 total COVID-19 related deaths in the county since the pandemic began. The two entities compile their information differently.

Hospitalizations climbing

As of Monday, there are 1,260 hospitalized across the state for COVID-19. There were 1,032 hospitalized as of the end of the previous week.

Beaufort County passes mask ordinance

Beaufort County Council met for a special-called meeting Wednesday, July 1, and approved an emergency ordinance outlining face mask requirements for unincorporated areas of the County.

The ordinance, which went into effect at 11:59 p.m. Friday, July 3, requires people to wear a face covering and practice social-distancing while inside commercial and public buildings in unincorporated Beaufort County, whenever possible.

The exceptions to this are for those in child care facilities, schools, churches and gyms where social-distancing policies are already in place; patrons who are actively eating food or consuming beverages; anyone receiving medical treatment; and those who are actively swimming in indoor pools.

The ordinance also requires employees of restaurants, retail establishments, grocery stores, salons and pharmacies, to wear face coverings whenever they are within six feet of the general public or in proximity to each other.

The County’s face mask ordinance will remain in effect through Aug. 31 unless Council terminates or extends it.

The passage brought Beaufort County in line with the City of Beaufort, Town of Hilton Head, Town of Bluffton and Town of Port Royal had already passed face mask ordinances of their own. 

Repeated violations of the county’s ordinance at any business or establishment that is not exempt from the requirements are declared a nuisance and, as such, the County may seek a restraining order, preliminary injunction, permanent injunction, or suspension or revocation of the County-issued business license.

To view the county’s complete ordinance, visit https://bit.ly/3f9UFS7.

First schools and now football

Two weeks ago, State Education Superintendent Molly Spearman said that if things didn’t improve, there was no way kids would go back to school this fall.

This past week, Governor Henry McMaster made the prospects of a high school or college football season sound ominous.

“If we continue to see this kind of danger going across our state, we will have no choice but to keep these restrictions on crowds and gatherings in place,” McMaster said. during a press briefing Wednesday. “That means this fall will not be like other falls. We will not be able to have college football, would not be able to have high school football.”

Blame it on South Carolina

On the Sunday, July 5 edition of Meet The Press, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said positive coronavirus cases there were tied to citizens vacationing in Myrtle Beach.

According to television reports, Murphy said his state is seeing a spike in cases in people coming back from places like “Myrtle Beach, as well as in Florida and other hot spots.”

Mike McCombs is the editor of The Island News and can be reached at TheIslandNews@gmail.com.

THE NUMBERS

Totals

As of Monday, July 6

S.C. Confirmed cases: 46,247

S.C. Conformed deaths: 819

Beaufort County cases: 1,510

Beaufort County deaths: 23

Last week’s 7-day avg. new cases, state: 1604.1

Previous week’s 7-day avg. new cases, state: 1,263.6

Last week’s 7-day average new cases, county: 52.43

Previous week’s 7-day average new cases, county: 38.9

THE LAST WEEK

Monday, July 6

New S.C. Cases: 1,505

S.C. deaths: 6

New Beaufort Co. Cases: 53

Beaufort Co. deaths: 1

Percent Positive: 18.8 

Sunday, July 5

New S.C. Cases: 1,463

S.C. deaths: 8

New Beaufort Co. Cases: 49

Beaufort Co. deaths: 0

Percent Positive: 16.6

Saturday, July 4

New S.C. Cases: 1,836*

S.C. deaths: 19

New Beaufort Co. Cases: 37

Beaufort Co. deaths: 1

Percent Positive: 19.7

*Record High

Friday, July 3

New S.C. Cases: 1,558

S.C. deaths: 10

New Beaufort Co. Cases: 54

Beaufort Co. deaths: 1

Percent Positive: 20.7*

*Record High 

Thursday, July 2

New S.C. Cases: 1,629

S.C. deaths: 19

New Beaufort Co. Cases: 43

Beaufort Co. deaths: 1

Percent Positive: 16.9 

Wednesday, July 1

New S.C. Cases: 1,497

S.C. deaths: 24*

New Beaufort Co. Cases: 61

Beaufort Co. deaths: 0

Percent Positive: 19.1 

*Record High

Tuesday, June 30

New S.C. Cases: 1,741

S.C. deaths: 17

New Beaufort Co. Cases: 70*

Beaufort Co. deaths: 0

Percent Positive: 19.0 

*Record High