• Updated June 12, 2020, at 11:10  a.m.

    Search Our Website:

    CORONA VIRUS UPDATES

    UPDATE Friday, June 12, 2020, at 11:10 a.m.

    Gov. Henry McMaster today declared a new state of emergency regarding the coronavirus while also lifting restrictions on the occupancy of retail establishments and allowing bowling alleys to reopen immediately.

    “South Carolinians know what they can do to keep themselves and their loved ones safe, and it’s incumbent upon each and every one of us to follow the advice and recommendations of the public health experts,” McMaster said in a news release. “We also must continue our methodical approach towards getting South Carolinians back to work and businesses contributing to the state’s economy. Businesses simply can’t be closed indefinitely, but they can operate in a safe way with our collective knowledge of the virus.”

    The ’Response’ component of the AccelerateSC group, with advice and recommendations from the S.C. Department of Environmental Control (DHEC) have developed specific guidelines for how bowling alleys can safely operate: https://accelerate.sc.gov/sites/default/files/Documents/GuidelinesforReopeningBowlingAlley.pdf

    Additional guidelines for South Carolina businesses can be found here: https://accelerate.sc.gov/



    UPDATE Wednesday, June 10, 2020 at 4:45 p.m.

    Wearing a mask in public and continuing to practice social distancing are the two main things South Carolinians can do to prevent the spread of coronavirus and the disease it causes, Covid-19.

    Dr. Linda Bell, the state’s epidemiologist, spoke today along with Gov. Henry McMaster, and she said the last two weeks have seen the highest number of cases of Covid-19 thus far.

    “I have to say that today I am more concerned about Covid-19 in South Carolina than I ever have been before,” she said.

    She announced 528 new cases with 7 deaths for a total of 15,759 cases. She asked for “everyone’s help” in re-emphasizing the need to wear a mask in public and continuing to practice social distancing.

    The ability to return to normal “or a new normal” will take longer if the spread of coronavirus continues, she said. Many people in South Carolina aren’t wearing masks or social distancing and are gathering in groups. The last few weeks have seen a spike in cases in Greenville County, she said, as per the state’s contact tracing data. About a third of those cases are happening in the Latino community, she said.

    The state continues to work to identify hotspots, she said, noting that “transmission is still high and widespread in South Carolina.”

    As there is no vaccine, she said the only way to stop the spread of coronavirus is to wear a mask, socially distance yourself from others and not gather in groups.

    Gov. McMaster likened the personal responsibility of stopping the spread of coronavirus to Smokey The Bear, who championed the slogan, ‘Only You Can Prevent Forest Fires.’

    McMaster said he’s disappointed to see people “jammed up in crowds” and potentially exposing themselves and others to the virus.

    “The ultimate price for this lack of care is death,” he said.

    Hot weather won’t kill the coronavirus, he said, and even though people are excited to be out and about enjoying the warm weather, they need to be careful.


    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    UPDATE Wednesday, May 20, 2020 at 4:45 p.m.

    Gov. Henry McMaster today announced he is lifting restrictions on previously closed attractions that were shuttered to stop the spread of coronavirus.

    Places that can reopen on Friday, May 22, include zoos, museums, aquariums, planetariums, waterparks, amusement park rides, bingo facilities, go-kart tracks, mini golf and historic sites.

    During his press conference he specifically mentioned the S.C. Aquarium and  Patriots Point in Charleston and Riverbanks Zoo in Columbia.

    Also included are: escape rooms, Ferris wheels, skateboard parks, climbing walls, batting cages, billiard parlors and pool halls, he said.

    He also said adult and youth recreational sports can resume practice on Saturday, May 30, with competitive play slated for a June 15 return.

    Dr. Linda Bell, the state’s epidemiologist, said thus far 138,238 coronavirus tests have been performed in South Carolina, covering about 2.7 percent of our population.

    There’s about a 7 percent positivity rate, she said, as the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control remains committed to testing 110,000 people per month.

    People are spreading the virus, she said, not businesses.

    She continued to recommend people wear a mask in public and continue washing their hands regularly, especially after being in the public or group settings.

    “As you can tell, we’re making progress,” McMaster said.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    UPDATE Thursday, May 14, 2020 at 4:30 p.m.

    On Tuesday, May 19, 2020, Sumter County parks will reopen.

    Dillon Park, Mill Creek Park and Patriot Park will not have restrooms available and playground equipment at Dillon Park will still be off limits.

    We ask you to continue to follow guidelines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control in regards to social distancing. Please stay 6 feet apart from one another and do not congregate in groups. Stay safe and stay healthy and get some fresh air.


    Aug 23 2017 Sumter County file art Dillon Park

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    UPDATE Monday, May 11, 2020 at 5 p.m.

    Gov. Henry McMaster today announced he is lifting restrictions on close contact businesses that were put in place to stop the spread of coronavirus.

    Just after midnight on Monday, May 18, 2020, restrictions will be lifted on “close contact services” along with recreational and athletic facilities, he said.

    Business affected include barber shops, hair, nail and tanning salons, tattoo and massage parlors, gyms, fitness centers and yoga studios, he said.

    Social distancing measures will be required along with strict sanitary guidelines.

    McMaster said our state’s economy didn’t shutdown like other states, but slowed down. And now it’s time to accelerate it, he said.

    He also announced that non-essential state employees will begin returning to work no later than June 1.

    Dr. Linda Bell, the state’s epidemiologist, said 89,968 tests for coronavirus have been performed thus far, with 7,792 tests coming back positive, or about 9 percent.

    She once again stated the goal of testing 2 percent of the population, or 110,000 people each month. Increased testing and robust contact tracing will help contain the virus, she said, while identifying hotspots and outbreaks.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    UPDATE Friday, May 8, 2020 at 4:50 p.m.

    Gov. Henry McMaster announced today phase two of reopening restaurants affected by coronavirus.

    Beginning just after midnight on Monday, May 11, 2020, restaurants will be able to allow indoor dining up to 50 percent capacity of the building’s Certificate of Occupancy. Social distancing measures are still required, he said.

    “These recommendations and policies are comprehensive, well thought out,” and brought forth with research and advice from the AccelerateSC group.

    Tables must be spaced 6 to 8 feet apart with no more than 8 customers at a table, he said, along with extensive sanitizing measures in place. Once this phase goes into effect, they will get feedback and consider phase three.

    On Monday he said he will likely address opening “close contact” businesses such as barber shops, hair and nail salons and gyms.

    “This has been quite a process,” he said.

    Record numbers of unemployment claims have been filed, he said, and the goal is to see the people of South Carolina “suffer as little as possible.”

    McMaster also said he was lifting the remaining restrictions regarding boating on South Carolina’s waterways. Social distancing is still recommended and a law in place allows for law enforcement officers to arrest someone who is posing a threat to public health and public safety.

    “The virus is still here and people are still vulnerable,” he said.

    Dr Linda Bell, the state’s epidemiologist, said the state and the rest of the country need to drastically increase per-capita testing.

    She reiterated the goal to test 2 percent of the population, or 110,000 people each month. This will help officials better track the spread of coronavirus and the disease it causes, Covid-19.

    With that understanding, officials can make data-driven decisions on how best to reactivate the economy, she said.

    Universal testing of about 40,000 nursing home residents and staffers in 194 facilities will commence on Monday, she said.

    “We’re taking a phased approach,” she said

    Minority populations will also be targeted for testing as African-Americans continue to be disproportionately affected. About 27 percent of the state’s population is African-American, she said, but account for 44 percent of the cases and 46 percent of the deaths.

    Mobile testing sites will continue to pop-up throughout South Carolina, she said.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    UPDATE Wednesday, May 6, 2020 at 4:50 p.m.

    Governor Henry McMaster today announced a comprehensive effort to ramp up testing for coronavirus in South Carolina, with a goal of testing all nursing home residents and staff members.

    McMaster said when the virus hit it “was chasing us,” but now the tables have turned and “we’re chasing the virus.”

    A statewide effort to test 2 percent of the population and implement contact tracing is possible because of federal assistance with testing equipment and an enhanced supply chain, he said.

    “We’re in a good position to do this,” he said.

    Covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, has been especially deadly for nursing home residents and minority populations.

    Testing will happen “all over South Carolina,” he said, and will be announced on DHEC’s website.

    Rick Toomey, the director of the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control, said as part of the AccelerateSC group’s work, nursing homes will be targeted for testing. The testing effort will be a collaboration between MUSC, Prisma Health, the S.C. Hospital Association and federally qualified healthcare centers, he said.

    The Governor’s office and the General Assembly are also collaborating on the strategy, he said, and the challenge is to reach “a significant number of South Carolinians in the month of May.”

    Dr. Joan Duwve, DHEC’s Public Health Director, said they want to quickly identify hotspots and place resources where they’re needed. Thus far, 66,766 tests have been performed, she said, which represents 1.25 percent of the state’s population.

    There have been 6,481 positive results, she said, as she acknowledged the need to increase per-capita testing.

    Assisting in this effort, the federal government is providing the equipment needed to test 2 percent of the population in May and June, she said, with the goal of testing 110,000 people per month.

    There will be universal testing of nursing homes and staff, expanded efforts into under-resourced and rural communities, mass testing in urban areas, and the need to find additional testing sites, she said.

    About 40,000 people live and work in nursing homes and long-term facilities, she said, and protection measures have been put in place as the rate of infection grows.

    The number of cases in those facilities – 851 – represents about 12 percent of all Covid-19 cases in the state, she said, and account for about 28 percent of all the deaths.

    Prisons, group homes and jails will see enhanced testing capacity, she said.

    African-Americans have been disproportionately affected, she said, as the state’s African-American population is about 27 percent but accounts for 44 percent of the cases and 64 percent of the fatalities.

    Of the hotpsots in the state, nine out of ten are rural counties, she said.

    Pop-up testing events are slated for Charleston, Columbia and the Greenville-Spartanburg area.

    Gov. McMaster said as the number of tests increase, he expects to see the number of cases increase as well

    “This is a big step forward and there’ll be more tests,” he said.

    In Sumter County, MUSC will once again offer free testing from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday, May 8, at the Sumter County Civic Center, 700 W. Liberty Street. Drive-through or walk-up testing options are available. #SumterCountySC #SumterSC

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    UPDATE Monday, May 4, 2020 at 12:30 p.m.
     
    MUSC is offering free mobile testing for Covid-19 today, Wednesday and Friday at the Sumter County Civic Center from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

    No appointment is needed and the free testing is open to anyone. Both walk-up and drive-through options will be available. The Sumter County Civic Center is located at 700 West Liberty Street.

    May 4 2020 Coronavirus testing Sumter County Civic Center 1


    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    UPDATE Friday, May 1, 2020 at 4:50 p.m.

    Gov. Henry McMaster today announced the pending removal of the Home or Work Order that was put in place on April 6 to prevent spread of coronavirus.

    McMaster’s order will go into effect on Monday, May 4, 2020, and will become voluntary and not mandatory.

    And on Monday, the state will allow outside dining at restaurants, in addition to take-out and delivery service, he said at an afternoon press conference.

    Distancing guidelines at restaurants will be provided based on recommendations by the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control and the S.C. Restaurant & Lodging Association, he said.

    Short-term rental restrictions will be lifted, along with the self-quarantine McMaster ordered for people traveling to South Carolina from coronavirus hotspots.

    Gov. McMaster said he will issue a Proclamation to call for Sunday, May 3, 2020 as a statewide Day of Prayer.

    “It’s time we pause, and we thank God for where we are,” he said.

    He thanked first responders and healthcare workers for their efforts, along with their families and “all involved who worked to keep us safe.”

    Decisions will be made in the future about dining in restaurants and other businesses as well as allowing spectator sports and other events.

    “All of those will come in due course,” he said. “I’m very proud of how people have responded.”

    Dr. Linda Bell, the state’s epidemiologist, said 160 new cases of Covid-19 were announced today, bringing the total to 6,258 confirmed cases of the disease caused by coronavirus.

    Twelve additional deaths caused by Covid-19 were also announced by Bell.

    She said South Carolinians have been asked to make great sacrifices through social distancing but also asked those measures continue.

    “The steps we have been taking collectively have been working,” she said, and the curve of coronavirus cases “appears to beginning to level.”

    She said there was no set time or date to give a full loosening of restrictions.

    Enhanced testing will be needed, she said, and contact tracing will surge. That measure involves identifying all positive cases and finding close direct contact with people and notifying those people about how to prevent spread of coronavirus.

    In Sumter County, S.C., MUSC will offer free mobile testing for Covid-19 on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at the Sumter County Civic Center from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

    No appointment is needed and the free testing is open to anyone. Both walk-up and drive-through options will be available.

     Coronavirus testing map


    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    UPDATE Monday, April 28, 2020 at 10:45 a.m.

    Gov. Henry McMaster on Monday declared a new state of emergency to continue the state’s response to Covid-19.

    The new executive order was issued on April 27, 2020, and allows state government to continue meeting the challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic.

    “South Carolina continues to fight this deadly virus with every asset and resource available,” said Gov. McMaster. “While we are making progress, we must remain vigilant with expanding prevention and testing efforts. Our state is also facing an economic disruption and emergency the likes of which we’ve never seen, and we are working tirelessly to get our businesses back up and running and our people back to work as soon and as safely as possible.”

    By law, the governor can declare a state of emergency for up to 15 days. His most recent executive order declaring a state of emergency was issued on April 12 and would have expired yesterday. The governor has now issued four executive orders declaring unique states of emergency based on the changing threats and challenges presented by the virus.

    All existing executive orders issued by the governor will remain in effect with the new state of emergency, unless or until they are otherwise rescinded. While the state of emergency can last for 15 days, the governor can, at any time, rescind individual orders he has issued to respond to the virus’ impact to the state and he will do so in accordance with the advice and recommendations of the state’s public health experts.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    UPDATE Wednesday, April 22, 2020 at 1:45 p.m.

    Gov. Henry McMaster announced today that public schools in South Carolina will be closed for the rest of the school year.

    The decision came about after “much consultation with a comprehensive group of people including parents and teachers, administrators, health experts,” and others, he said.

    There will be flexibility in allowing some summer teaching and accommodating for special needs students, he said.

    McMaster said he and S.C. Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman are encouraging school districts to find “imaginative, innovative plans” to have graduation ceremonies.

    “We know that is something that is part of American life,” he said. “It’s something very important to the families and students as well.”

    He thanked parents and teachers for doing “a marvelous job,” in dealing with school closures because of the coronavirus pandemic.

    “It’s been remarkable to see the highly successful effort that has been made,” he said.

    Computers and tablets have been delivered to students with “a lot of distance learning,” and meal delivery has continued uninterrupted, he said, and will continue through the summer.

    He continues to thank teachers, staff, administrators, and custodians for taking care of the schools, he said, with a particular emphasis on parents.

    “We know it’s been difficult,” he said, with “hundreds of thousands of people out of work. This has been a hardship and challenge on many people in our state.”

    He thanked parents and guardians for looking out for the next generation.

    Superintendent Spearman said schools are “the backbone of the community and when they close, all of us hurt.”

    Everyone wants to see students growing and learning, she said, but in this very historic pandemic we have been able to carry on.

    If there are children and families struggling because of illness or inability to understand the work, she encouraged them to reach out to school and teachers to ensure all students are moving forward.

    Buildings will not reopen for the rest of the school years, she said, but instruction will go on.

    As the school year winds down, and if it’s possible with social distancing in place, parent-teacher conferences are possible, she said.

    She said she’s heard from seniors and has heard about very creative ideas from district leaders in terms of graduation.

    She also announced that a task force is in the works to determine how to reopen the schools in August.

    “It has been a burden,” she said. “It’s sad to see schools closed, but it has been a joy to see how everyone has pulled together, and worked together on this for the good of our children.”
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    UPDATE Monday, April 20, 2020 at 4:45 p.m.

    Gov. Henry McMaster today issued a new executive order paving the path for beaches to reopen in South Carolina, along with some non-essential retail stores.

    He is, however, leaving beach access decisions to be made by local officials, which includes public access to beaches, piers, docks and boat ramps. That order goes into effect at noon on Tuesday, April 21, 2020.

    Still in effect is the rule for law enforcement to dispel groups of three or more, he said. The decision on whether to open schools has not been made yet, but is expected soon.

    “We are still in a very serious situation,” he said, as coronavirus spreads easily, “and we know it is deadly,” particularly with older people and those with weakened immune systems.

    McMaster called for continued compliance with strict social distancing measures.

    Stores that will be allowed to reopen include: sporting goods stores, furniture stores, shoe stores, jewelry stores, music stores, book stores, florists, flea markets, clothing stores, music stores and department stores.

    Restrictions to these retail establishments continue to call for five customers only per each 1,000-square-feet of space or 20 percent occupancy.

    He also announced a 29-member organization called AccelerateSC which will represent all sectors of the state’s economy and will target the logistics, regulatory issues and transportation matters inherent in reopening the economy.

    Dr. Linda Bell, the state’s epidemiologist, announced 64 new cases of Covid-19, bringing the total number of people testing positive to 4,439.

    “Everyone continues to be at risk of exposure,” she said.

    Projections through May 9 call for 750 new cases each week with a peak just under 7,000 by the first week of May, she said.

    She noted projections can change very quickly and we will see deaths for many weeks to come.

    “We’re still learning about this virus,” she said, and the risk of transmissions remains high despite early indications of the number of cases reaching a plateau.

    Dr. Bell also echoed the need for continuing strict social distancing, which calls for staying 6 feet away from others.


    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    UPDATE Friday, April 17, 2020 at 1 p.m.

    Gov. Henry McMaster on Thursday issued an executive order modifying an earlier order that reopens public boat ramps and landings at noon today.

    The beaching or rafting of boats, whether on a sandbar, lakeshore, riverbank or island is not allowed. Vessels must remain underway at all times, but anchoring to fish is allowed.

    In accordance with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), social distancing guidelines are still in place and call for individuals to maintain a 6 foot separation at all times. Gatherings of three or more people is still forbidden, according to the Governor’s orders.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    UPDATE Monday, April 13, 2020 at 5 p.m.

    Gov. McMaster on Sunday, April 12, 2020, issued a new state of emergency, which simply keeps all previous orders in place for the duration of the emergency, or until he announces otherwise.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    UPDATE Thursday, April 9, 2020 at 4:30 p.m.

    A message on Coronavirus, from Sumter County Council Chairman Jim McCain

    Tomorrow is Good Friday and we still have plenty to be thankful for here in Sumter County, S.C.

    It’s important to acknowledge what we’re going through right now: These are unprecedented times that call for unprecedented measures. And that’s why city and county buildings are closed to the public.

    It’s why many businesses have closed their doors and why our beautiful parks are now off limits. It’s why the schools are closed.

    We’re trying to protect lives, particularly the lives of our most vulnerable, which means our elderly and those with underlying health conditions.

    On a typical Easter weekend, multiple generations of families gather in celebration. Springtime is a time of renewal. Flowers are blooming and the weather beckons us outside.

    But this year is different. This year a new term has entered our collective vocabulary and I’m referring to ‘social distancing.’ This means if you do encounter people, you need to stay 6 feet away. It’s strongly recommended by our nation’s leading health experts and it could keep you healthy and out of the hospital.

    You’ve likely heard that the coronavirus is novel, which means it’s new. We don’t have immunity from it and there’s no vaccine for it, although the leading scientists around the world are hard at work on a cure. But it will take time.

    I started off saying we have a lot to be thankful for and I remain steadfast in that view.

    Why?

    Because our Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics at Sumter County Emergency Medical Services are on the front lines in the fight against coronavirus and the disease it causes, Covid-19. And I know they are resolute.

    Because our Emergency Management staff is in constant communication with their counterparts around the state, keeping us up to date on what the experts are saying, and on what we can do better to stay safe and stay out of harm’s way.

    I’m thankful for the men and women of the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office who continue to serve our community and protect us as we deal with a new normal.

    I’m thankful for our custodial crews of Sumter County Government who are working harder than ever to sanitize, sanitize, sanitize.

    One thing we are certain about. A lot of people are staying home and that’s exactly what we should be doing. Staying home.

    Personally, I’ve listened to music, read books, taken naps and walked around to get exercise. I’ve made phone calls to check on friends and family.

    Take time to talk to the ones you love and care about, but do it in a safe way.

    As you probably know, Governor McMaster issued a “Home or Work” order that means folks who are able to can drive to work and drive to the grocery store or drug store. You can exercise outdoors while practicing social distancing, or you can visit your family.

    And in the City of Sumter, a curfew remains in effect from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. and only allows for travel during this time if you need to work or receive healthcare.

    You know what else I’m grateful for? I’ve watched restaurants devise new ways to stay open and serve food safely. I’ve watched the newfound gratitude we all have for our nurses, doctors and all the folks that are the backbone of our wonderful healthcare systems in Sumter.

    I’m also thankful we live in a tight-knit community in which we care for one another. We’re normally very social but for now we need to curtail that, so our number of cases doesn’t jump up. This region has been flagged as a hot spot, so we need to do our best to “flatten the curve.”

    If you’ve seen that expression it means simply, we don’t want the number of coronavirus cases to drastically increase and put undue pressure on our healthcare systems. If we continue to employ social distancing and stay 6 feet away from another, we’re doing our part. If we wash our hands throughout the day, we’re doing our part. If we make a conscious effort to maintain a sanitary environment in our homes and at work, we are doing our part.

    The character of our community is evident in the way we respond to this.

    Teddy Roosevelt, our 26th President, once said, “Character, in the long run, is the decisive factor in the life of an individual and of nations alike.”

    Our very lives depend upon being smart about this and taking it seriously.

    Recently, the Centers for Disease Control has informed us that folks can be asymptomatic and show no symptoms of coronavirus even though they have it. Those folks can transmit it unknowingly. People who are pre-symptomatic can also transmit the virus without knowing it. So, they are recommending wearing cloth face coverings in public. For instance, when you go to the grocery store.

    So, don’t be alarmed if you see your neighbors wearing masks in public. We all need to slow the spread of the coronavirus and simple measures such as wearing a mask or cloth face covering can help us all.

    It’s tragic when you hear about someone you know that has coronavirus and we will continue to pray for them and their families. It’s tragic when you see that Ellis Marsalis, Bill Withers and John Prine have been taken from us because of Covid-19, along with many others.

    But it’s uplifting to know that many people will test positive from coronavirus and recover. They will stay in quarantine for two weeks, treat their symptoms, and live to fight another day.

    Many people and many families will be affected by this terrible virus in our nation. And thousands of people will survive. Within the blood of the survivors may hold lifesaving plasma for those afflicted with coronavirus.

    We’re learning more by the hour about how we can fight this.

    And we will fight it and we will win.

    So, stay home. Stay 6 feet away from one other. Sanitize.

    We’ll get through this together, but separately.

    God bless all of you and I wish you a Happy Easter.


    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    UPDATE Wednesday, April 8, 2020, at 4:45 p.m.

    Beginning tonight at 11 p.m., the City of Sumter has a curfew in effect. The curfew is 11 p.m. to 5 a.m., restricting the travel of individuals within the City of Sumter limits, with the exception of individuals traveling to and from work and for healthcare.

    During the hours of the curfew, individuals are advised to stay in their homes and not travel freely. Any person violating this ordinance is subject to a misdemeanor and can be fined up to $100 or 30 days in jail, the same punishment for violating any of Gov. McMaster's Covid-19-related mandates.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    UPDATE Tuesday, April 7, 2020 at 4 p.m.

    Today at 5 p.m., Gov. McMaster’s “Home or Work” order goes into effect.

    You can go to work, you can leave your house to buy essentials such as food and medicine and you can exercise outdoors and visit your family.

    Locally, city, county and state parks are closed. Healthcare experts recommend staying home to stop the spread of coronavirus and mitigate the effects of Covid-19. We don’t want our healthcare professionals, facilities and our first responders overburdened.

    Everyone is urged to continue practicing strict social distancing standards of staying 6 feet apart from others. Wash your hands thoroughly and regularly. Don’t touch your face.

    Staying home is the best thing you can do to keep your family and our community healthy.

    Non-compliance with this executive order will result in 30 days in jail for each day of violation or a $100 fine.

    As per Gov. McMaster, retail businesses that remain open are only allowed to have five customers for each 1,000-square-feet, or 20 percent of the store’s capacity.




    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    UPDATE Monday, April 6, 2020 at 4:45 p.m.

    Gov. Henry McMaster today issued a mandatory home or work order that will go into effect at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, April 7, 2020.

    “Everyone should stay home,” he said, unless they are working, visiting family, recreating outdoors or obtaining necessary goods or services.

    In Sumter County, all city and county parks are closed, as is Poinsett State Park.

    Retail stores that are open are required to adhere to social distancing guidelines which call for staying 6 feet apart, McMaster said. He also said today that stores will not be allowed to have more than five customers for every 1,000-square-feet or 20 percent of the store’s capacity, according to fire marshals.

    Non-compliance with these new measures will result in 30 days in jail for each day of violation or a $100 fine.

    “It is time,” he said, citing data and guidance from experts.

    There have been too many people on the roads, waters and in the stores not adhering to social distancing, he said.

    “We’ve asked, we’ve urged, we’ve suggested,” he said, but the last week showed that his orders have not been enough as the rate of infection of the coronavirus has risen with non-compliance.

    By the end of this week, he said about 200,000 people will have filed for unemployment, which is “just the tip of the iceberg.”

    McMaster said “we must be aggressive” in going after the coronavirus while not damaging businesses. He also called for the General Assembly to return as planned on Wednesday to work on the budget.

    As for Easter services, he said his office continues to urge churches to stream services online or meet outdoors and if that’s not possible, to provide social distancing.

    State Epidemiologist Dr. Linda Bell said the total number of coronavirus cases is now 2,232. The last week saw an “accelerated rate of infections in South Carolina,” she said.


    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    UPDATE Monday, April 6, 2020 at 11 a.m.

    Sumter County Convenience/Recycling Centers Updates as Related to Covid-19

    To protect the health and safety of residents, Sumter County employees and Waste Management employees, Sumter County is instituting the below Covid-19 mitigation measures at the 9 Convenience/Recycling Centers:

    • Suspension of collecting the following recyclable items: Plastic and glass.  These items are to be disposed in your household garbage.  Effective Saturday, April 11.
    • Practice social distancing. Residents and staff must maintain a minimum distance of 6 feet between them and other patrons.
    • Bring only items that can be disposed of without assistance. Staff has been directed to stop assisting residents with material disposal.

    The collection of electronic waste, at the Sumter County Public Works Department, which is held on the 1st Saturday of each month has been suspended until further notice.  

    For any questions or additional information, call Sumter County Public Works at 803-436-2241.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    UPDATE Friday, April 3, 2020 at 5 p.m.

    Gov. Henry McMaster today suspended short-term rentals to individuals from Covid-19 hotspots, based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control.

    Military and medical personnel, first responders and truck drivers are exempt.

    This follows an executive order requiring visitors to South Carolina from Covid-19 hotspots to self-quarantine for 14 days.

    During his press conference, Gov. McMaster also added to the list of non-essential businesses that have to close on Monday. Hardware stores, gun dealers were not included in the list, but furniture stores, florists, book stores, jewelry stores, luggage stores, department stores, craft and music stores, sporting goods and clothing stores will have to close.

    State Epidemiologist Dr. Linda Bell said at the press conference Coronavirus has reached all 46 counties in South Carolina.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    UPDATE Tuesday, March 31, 2020 at 4:45 p.m.

    Gov. Henry McMaster today ordered non-essential businesses closed in South Carolina.
    The executive order goes into effect on April 1, 2020 and includes:
    Entertainment venues and facilities - Night clubs, bowling alleys, arcades, concert venues, theaters, auditoriums and performing arts centers, tourist attractions (museums, aquariums and planetariums), racetracks, indoor children’s play areas excluding daycare facilities, adult entertainment venues, bingo halls, and venues operated by social clubs.

    Recreational and athletic facilities and activities:
    Fitness and exercise centers and commercial gyms, spas and public or commercial swimming pools, group exercise facilities, spectator sports, sports that involve interaction with another person in close proximity and within less than 6 feet of another person, activities that require the use of shared sporting apparatus and equipment, activities on commercial or public playground equipment

    Close contact service providers:
    Barber shops, hair salons, waxing salons, threading salons, nail salons and spas, body-art facilities and tattoo services, tanning salons, massage therapy establishments and massage services.

    “I have great faith in the people of South Carolina,” McMaster said at the press conference.

    This latest executive order follows a March 30, 2020, executive order that closes all public access points to the state’s beaches, as well as the closure of public boat ramps, landings and other access points to lakes, rivers and waterways.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    UPDATE Friday, March 27, 2020, at 2 p.m.

    Effective immediately, all parks in the City of Sumter and Sumter County are closed until further notice to support Team Sumter’s response to COVID-19. The closure is designed to keep visitors and employees as safe as possible by mitigating the spread of the Coronavirus.
    This is the third limited-access directive the City and County have made in response to public health advisories. The earlier directives, cancelling all large-group gatherings and closing playground equipment, remain in place as well.

    Please continue to follow our social media and website updates at www.sumtersc.gov and www.sumtercountysc.org.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    UPDATE Wednesday, March 25, 2020, at 4:30 p.m.

    Sumter County Council Tuesday evening held its first livestream meeting amid heightened concerns of fighting the spread of coronavirus in our community.

    The meeting was livestreamed over Sumter County Government’s YouTube channel.

    Sumter City-County Zoning Administrator and Interim Planning Director Helen Roodman spoke to council members about a request from council to rezone six separate parcels totaling 313.6 acres from Residential-15 (R-15) to Agricultural Conservation (AC). The land is located near the intersection of Black River Road and Edens Road.

    Through the 2040 Comprehensive Land Use Plan process, the area was targeted to be included in the Military Protection Planning Area, she said. The R-15 designation is not compatible with the 2040 Comp Plan. Over half of the property is under conservation easements, she said, and not compatible with residential development.

    The Planning Commission recommended approval of the request, she said.

    No one spoke during a public hearing and second reading passed unanimously.

    Clerk to Council Mary Blanding spoke briefly about a Proclamation declaring April as Fair Housing Month in Sumter County, S.C., and it was approved unanimously.

    Sumter County Attorney Johnathan Bryan spoke to council members about an Emergency Ordinance that requires only one reading, is good for 60 days, and allows for electronic County Council meetings and participation from a remote location.

    The ordinance was approved unanimously and will allow for a conference call among council members in lieu of meeting in person.

    Bryan also spoke about an ordinance that will allow electronic meetings in the future for any emergencies that could arise unexpectedly and members of council were unable to participate in meetings for any number of reasons.

    Councilman Artie Baker asked if circumstances were such that three council members showed up for a meeting and since a quorum wasn’t established, if other members were allowed to participate via conference call.

    It would count as a quorum, Bryan said, as long as there was a bona fide emergency.

    The ordinance passed unanimously.

    Bryan spoke about an ordinance to rescind a previous ordinance establishing a Special Tax District known as the “Boyles Pond Special Tax District.”

    First reading passed unanimously.

    The Fiscal, Tax and Property Committee met prior to the regular meeting, said Chairman James T. McCain Jr. Information was given to the committee from Jay Schwedler of Sumter Economic Development, McCain said, and no action was taken.

    Councilwoman Vivian Fleming-McGhaney said there’s a request to Santee-Lynches Regional Council of Governments’ (COG) Executive Director Chris McKinney to share information that comes from COG meetings.

    Blanding reminded council members the April 14 meeting for County Council is cancelled.

    Sumter County Assistant Administrator Lorraine Dennis reminded council members all county buildings have been closed to the general public to protect employees from the coronavirus. Effective March 30, Sumter County employees will go on a staggered, modified work schedule, she said.

    McCain noted for the record that because of the coronavirus, the Public Comments portion of the meeting has been suspended.

    The meeting, which began at 6:04 p.m., adjourned at 6:26 p.m.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    UPDATE Tuesday, March 24, 2020, at 4:30 p.m.

    Sumter County Council’s meeting slated for 6 p.m. on Tuesday, March 24, 2020 will be livestreamed over Sumter County Government’s YouTube channel.

    This is the link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAHjiqzPaonQ9LFS2kO37tA

    You can also log onto www.youtube.com and search for Sumter County Government.

    As we work to prevent the spread of Coronavirus (Covid-19), there are specific guidelines in place regarding the March 24, 2020, County Council meeting. Public comments will be eliminated and we ask that if you don’t have any connection to the agenda items, please don’t attend the meeting.

    Social distancing guidelines as per state and federal recommendations will be strictly followed. Sumter County Sheriff’s Office deputies will provide security and will allow limited access to the Sumter County Courthouse.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    UPDATE Tuesday, March 24, 2020 at 9 a.m.

    In order to minimize exposure to COVID-19, the City of Sumter and Sumter County have decided to close playground equipment at all parks, effective Monday, March 23. Playground equipment has not been sanitized.

    Although parks will remain open, residents are asked to exercise precaution and practice social distancing while outdoors. Please follow the below guidelines:

    • Do not use parks or trails if you are sick or exhibiting symptoms.
    • Observe CDC’s minimum recommended social distancing of 6 feet from other persons at all times.
    • Follow CDC guidance on personal hygiene to visiting parks or trails.
    • Be prepared for limited access to public restrooms or water fountains.
    • Share the trail and warn other trail users of your presence and as you pass.

    We understand residents’ need to maintain their physical and mental health, and encourage them to do so safely, following the above guidelines.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    UPDATE Monday, March 23, 2020 at 5 p.m.

    Sumter County Council’s meeting slated for 6 p.m. on Tuesday, March 24, 2020 will be livestreamed over Sumter County Government’s YouTube channel.

    This is the link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAHjiqzPaonQ9LFS2kO37tA

    You can also log onto www.youtube.com and search for Sumter County Government.

    As we work to prevent the spread of Coronavirus (Covid-19), there are specific guidelines in place regarding the March 24, 2020, County Council meeting. Public comments will be eliminated and we ask that if you don’t have any connection to the agenda items, please don’t attend the meeting.

    Social distancing guidelines as per state and federal recommendations will be strictly followed. Sumter County Sheriff’s Office deputies will provide security and will allow limited access to the Sumter County Courthouse.

    Summary Court Chief Magistrate B. Keith Griffin wants the public to know a dropbox has been set up for payment of all criminal tickets issued by the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office, South Carolina Highway Patrol and Sumter Police Department.

    The dropbox is located in the main parking lot facing Summary Court at 190 East Canal Street. Residents are strongly encouraged to pay tickets online: https://publicindex.sccourts.org/sumter/onlinepayments/  or through www.sc.gov

    Summary Court has been closed to the general public, but Judge Griffin wants to make citizens aware that acceptance of filings and payments – including bonds – and emergency hearings are still ongoing.

    The only filings Summary Court will accept in person are for restraining orders. Regarding the posting of bail bonds, Judge Griffin is requiring that all bondsmen contact the court in advance regarding releases for payment. Bond hearings shall be conducted twice daily unless otherwise noted.

    If you have questions, please call:

    SUMMARY COURT: 803-436-2280

    Please remember that all Sumter County buildings are closed to the general public. Sumter County Judicial Center and Summary Court are open only for special exceptions.

    Clerk of Court: 803-436-2227

    The Register of Deeds Office will be open on a limited basis with service by appointment only.

    Register of Deeds: 803-436-2177

    Sumter County Treasurer Carolina Richardson would like to encourage the public to please use www.sumtersctax.com.

    Auditor: 803-436-2136

    Assessor: 803-436-2115

    Treasurer: 803-436-2213

    Voter Registration and Elections Office is open to accept filings only.

    Voter Registration/Elections: 803-436-2310, 803-436-2312, or 803-436-2313

    For non-emergency calls to the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office: 803-436-2775

    If you have questions, please visit www.sumtercountysc.org and find the respective department or office.

     


    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    UPDATE Monday, March 23, 2020 at 9:15 a.m.

    The collection of electronic waste on the first Saturday of each month has been cancelled at Sumter County Public Works until further notice.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    UPDATE Friday, March 20, 2020 at 5 p.m.

    In an effort to prevent the spread of Coronavirus (Covid-19), all Sumter County buildings will be closed to the general public effective Monday, March 23, 2020, until further notice.

    County employees will still report to work. Services will be provided through online portals, over the phone or by U.S. Mail. We ask that you please first try to conduct business online, and then call the respective office if needed as we do our best to limit human contact.

    In accordance with a directive from S.C. Supreme Court Chief Justice Don Beatty, the Sumter County Judicial Center and Summary Court will be open on a limited basis for: acceptance of filings with the Clerk of Court’s office, emergency hearings and bench warrant hearings. If you fall into those categories, please call beforehand.

    Clerk of Court: 803-436-2227

    Summary Court: 803-436-2280

    A temperature screening protocol remains in place for both the Judicial Center and Summary Court.

    The Register of Deeds Office will be open on a limited basis with service by appointment only.

    Register of Deeds: 803-436-2177

    Sumter County Treasurer Carolina Richardson would like to encourage the public to please use www.sumtersctax.com.

    A drop box has been set up at Magnolia Place, 20 North Magnolia St., so payments can be made without having to go inside the Treasurer’s Office. Magnolia Place also houses the Assessor’s Office and Auditor’s Office.

    Although signage has yet to be put in place, the drop box is operable. The drop box is located on the loading dock, which faces East Liberty Street. If you are facing the building on Magnolia Street, go to the left side of the building and you will see the loading dock.

    Auditor: 803-436-2136

    Assessor: 803-436-2115

    Treasurer: 803-436-2213

    Voter Registration and Elections Office is open to accept filings only.

    Voter Registration/Elections: 803-436-2310, 803-436-2312, or 803-436-2313

    The Landfill is open and our Recycling Centers are open. However, Waste Management is employing social distancing as per state and federal guidelines and we ask that you follow suit.

    If you have an emergency please call 911.

    For non-emergency calls to the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office: 803-436-2775

    If you have questions, please visit www.sumtercountysc.org and find the respective department or office.

    You can email dmcleod@sumtercountysc.org if you have questions for the Administration.

    Administration: 803-436-2102

    OTHER IMPORTANT NUMBERS:

    Emergency Management: 803-436-2158

    Emergency Medical Services: 803-436-2415 or 436-2416

    Coroner: 803-436-2111

    Public Works: 803-436-2241

    Mill Creek Park is closed. However, Dillon Park and Patriot Park are open for now. Please follow social distancing guidelines and please don’t gather in groups larger than 10 as we work as a community to stay as healthy as we can.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    UPDATE Thursday, March 19, 2020 at 3 p.m.

    The offices of Sumter County Government remain open with normal business hours of 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

    Deep cleaning protocols are in place as we do our best to keep public spaces germ-free. We will continue to adhere to social distancing standards as per state and federal guidelines and we ask that you follow suit.

    If you are visiting the Sumter County Judicial Center or Summary Court, please be aware that a temperature screening protocol is in place. If your temperature exceeds 100.4 you will not be allowed entry.

    Sumter County Treasurer Carolina Richardson would like to encourage the public to please use www.sumtersctax.com if you have internet access.

    A drop box has been set up at Magnolia Place, 20 North Magnolia St., so payments can be made without having to go inside the Treasurer’s Office. Magnolia Place also houses the Assessor’s Office and Auditor’s Office.

    “We are a public service office and we care about the wellness of our citizens,” Richardson said.

    Although signage has yet to be put in place, the drop box is operable, she said Thursday. The drop box is located on the loading dock, which faces East Liberty Street. If you are facing the building on Magnolia Street, go to the left side of the building and you will see the loading dock.

    If you have questions, please call these numbers for respective offices:

    Auditor: 803-436-2136

    Assessor: 803-436-2115

    Treasurer: 803-436-2213

    Sumter County Summary Court Chief Magistrate B. Keith Griffin said Thursday no traffic court will be held the week of March 23-27 as per an order from S.C. Supreme Court Chief Justice Don Beatty. Judge Griffin also noted all actions on evictions, including filings, have ceased.

    Preliminary hearings will be conducted next week on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, Griffin said. Only the attorneys, officers and alleged victims will be allowed to attend. Any preliminary hearings requiring the use of video conferencing will be held as such.

    Judge Griffin also said Summary Court will hear civil cases next week that are not evictions, and any other miscellaneous bench trials such as courtesy summons.

    Summary Court: 803-436-2280

    Dillon Park and Patriot Park are open for now. Please follow social distancing guidelines and please don’t gather in groups larger than 10 as we work as a community to stay as healthy as we can.



    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    UPDATE Thursday, March 19, 2020 at 10 a.m.

    Waste Management is continuing to provide curbside trash collection service, drop off center service, and disposal service. However, with the health and well-being of our community in mind, Waste Management, our environmental services partner, has announced the temporary closure of their residential call centers to promote social distancing among call center employees. Waste Management is actively establishing remote operations for its call center employees to re-establish call center operations as soon as possible. Again, the suspension of call center availability has no impact to your collection service. Check wm.com/alerts for the latest updates, and also register for text and email alerts, or chat with their virtual assistant.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    UPDATE Wednesday, March 18, 2020 at 3 p.m.

    Sumter County Council declares State of Emergency

    Sumter County Council held an Emergency Meeting at noon on Wednesday, March 18, 2020, to discuss an Emergency Ordinance regarding the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) and its impact on Sumter County.

    County Council Chairman James T. McCain Jr., Vice Chairman Jimmy Byrd and fellow Council members Chris Sumpter, Artie Baker, Charles Edens, Vivian Fleming-McGhaney and Eugene Baten voted unanimously to approve the ordinance, which authorizes Sumter County Administrator Gary Mixon to take any necessary actions for protections of the health, safety and welfare of Sumter County citizens and visitors including, but not limited to, the following:

    -         Utilize all available resources of county government as reasonably necessary to cope with the COVID-19 emergency: and

    -         Transfer the direction, personnel or functions of county departments and agencies or units thereof for purposes of facilitating or performing emergency services as necessary or desirable; and

    -         Contract, requisition and compensate for goods and services from public and private sources; and

    -         Prescribe routes, modes of transportation and destinations in connection with evacuations or relocations, if any: and

    -         Suspend or limit nonemergency activities and prohibit public assemblies; and

    -         Any and all other actions deemed necessary by the Administrator for the preservation of the health, safety and welfare of citizens, residents, and visitors of Sumter County, South Carolina.

    Also, all deadlines for action imposed by the Code of Ordinances, Sumter County, South Carolina or any other Sumter County Ordinances, including but not limited to planning and zoning codes and ordinances, that are applicable to Sumter County Government or to Sumter County staff are suspended for the temporary period through April 30, 2020, and the time to respond to any such deadlines shall begin with the end of such temporary period.

    This Ordinance shall remain in force until emergency conditions associated with COVID-19 have subsided and the emergency activities of Sumter County are no longer necessary to protect the life and property of our citizens, or upon the sixty-first (61st) day after the effective date of this emergency declaration.

    After the meeting, Mixon said he appreciates the working relationship he has with County Council.

    “We may have some difficult days ahead but I know the citizens of Sumter County are resilient and patient and we will all have to pull together until we are through this emergency,” he said.


    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    UPDATE Wednesday, March 18, 2020 at 9:30 a.m.
    March 18 2020 Judicial Center sign temperature check

    The Sumter County Judicial Center and Summary Court are open for normal business hours. However, please be aware that a temperature screening protocol is in place. 
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    UPDATE Tuesday, March 17, 2020 5 p.m.

    Sumter County Administrator Gary Mixon and Assistant Administrator Lorraine Dennis met this morning to discuss ongoing measures related to the impact of the Coronavirus.

    Mixon said county offices and personnel will continue to follow guidelines put forth by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC).

    “We are evaluating each county office and its interaction with the public to formulate the best possible method of staying open while we also maintain safe social distancing,” Mixon said.

    County offices are open from normal business hours of 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

    Sumter County Emergency Medical Services is continuing to answer calls for service. A rigorous cleaning and disinfecting regimen has been in place for all ambulances and rescue vehicles.

    At noon on Monday, March 16, 2020, the filing period opened for several public offices – nationally, state and county-wide. The filing period will close at noon on March 30, 2020. The Sumter County Office of Voter Registration and Elections will be open to accept paperwork and fees associated with this filing period.

    As per a March 16, 2020 order from S.C. Supreme Court Chief Justice Don Beatty, all jury trials are postponed, but non-jury trials and other hearings may continue at the trial judge’s discretion. This includes only attorneys, their clients and necessary witnesses. Family Court is restricting proceedings to emergency matters, including, but not limited to DSS Emergency Protective Custody, Juvenile Detentions, Bench Warrants and Emergency Petitions for Orders of Protection from Domestic Abuse. The Sumter County Judicial Center is open to accept filings and payments, for emergency hearings and for transmission of necessary information to SLED and or NCIC as well as the County Statistics Portal. Bench warrants for failure to appear will not be issued at this time.

    On March 17, Chief Justice Beatty ordered all evictions currently ordered and scheduled statewide through March 31, 2020, will be rescheduled not earlier than May 1, 2020.

    The Sumter County Sheriff’s Office is limiting direct contact between deputies and the public. Deputies will respond in person to ongoing offenses, especially those that could result in bodily injury or property damage, however, reports will be taken over the phone for some less urgent offenses.

    Investigators will continue to follow up on cases but person-to-person contact could be limited if that contact is not critical for the investigation. When reasonable and practical, a phone conversation will be made to follow up on reports.

    We also ask that citizens looking for lost dogs at Sumter County Animal Control call first and describe the dog before going to the shelter. A staff member will inform you if a dog matching that description is there.

    Continue to call 911 if there is an emergency.

    For non-emergency situations, meaning no ongoing violence and no threat of imminent violence, call (803) 436-2775.

    The Sumter County Sheriff’s Office has strictly limited visits to Sumter-Lee Regional Detention Center to staff, attorneys and victims attending first appearance hearings. Visitation is not permitted for other members of the public. The medical staff is monitoring inmates and personnel for symptoms daily.

    Mill Creek Park is closed, as is the South Sumter Resource Center. Events at Patriot Hall and the Sumter County Gallery of Art have been cancelled for the foreseeable future.

    All of Sumter County’s community centers are closed: Catchall-Shaw, Cherryvale, Delaine, Eastern, Ebenezer, Pinewood, Rembert-Rafting Creek, Salterstown, Shiloh and Spectrum.

    Sumter County Administrator Gary Mixon wants to remind the public we are dealing with a rapidly evolving situation in regards to the impact of the Coronavirus on our everyday lives.

    “Everything is subject to change, as we continue to keep safety as a priority for our workforce and our citizens,” he said.




    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    UPDATE Tuesday, March 17, 2020 2:15 p.m.

    A list of closures for Sumter County Government has been added to the tabs on the left of this webpage and will be updated as needed.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    UPDATE Monday, March 16, 2020 5:15 p.m.

    In response to concerns about the coronavirus, and with the welfare and safety of the public in mind, the Sumter County Council meeting on March 24, 2020 will be livestreamed.
    Council Chambers on the third floor of the Sumter County Courthouse will have social spacing in place and public comments will be eliminated until the first meeting in May 2020. Public hearing will be limited to only those that have a connection to the property that is being potentially rezoned.
    Third reading for RZ-20-01 will be held on April 28, 2020.
    There will not be an April 14, 2020, meeting of Sumter County Council.
    “We are adapting as best as we can right now in a difficult environment. These measures are being put in place to protect the general public,” said Sumter County Council Chairman James T. McCain Jr. “Just this afternoon we’re being told to limit public gatherings to 10 people and we want the citizens of Sumter County to know what we’re doing is for the sake of the common good.”

    The Sumter County Library will be closed to the public beginning at 8 p.m. on Monday, March 16, 2020 and will remain closed through April 5, 2020.


    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    UPDATE Monday, March 16, 2020
    The Festival On The Avenue has been postponed until further notice.
    The Sumter County Library and The Sumter County Museum have canceled public events through March. The museum and Temple Sinai Jewish History Center are closed to the public.
    Bingo and Census events are cancelled.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    UPDATE Sunday, March 15, 2020

    Gov. McMaster announced today that all schools in South Carolina will close for two weeks.

    All Sumter County Recreation & Parks programs are suspended until further notice and our community centers are closed as well. 

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    UPDATE Friday, March, 13, 2020
    Sumter County Administration, Sumter County Emergency Management, first responders and other county officials are closely monitoring updates from state and federal officials.

    President Trump on Friday declared a National Emergency. Gov. McMaster declared a State of Emergency and ordered the schools in Lancaster and Kershaw Counties to close.

    Among local officials, there has been much discussion. Sumter County Administrator Gary Mixon convened a meeting on March 12, 2020, to discuss the coronavirus with county officials.

    “The health and safety of Sumter County’s workforce and its citizens are paramount as we deal with the implications of COVID-19 and its impact on day-to-day life,” Mixon said.

    Sumter County Clerk of Court Jamie Campbell said Friday that anyone with a General Sessions court appearance slated for the week of March 16-20 will have their hearing rescheduled. Family Court will be the same, except for emergency hearings only.

    Mixon stressed the need to stay informed of precautions we can all undertake to hopefully minimize the impact of coronavirus on our community. Social distancing, hand washing, covering your mouth and staying home if you feel sick are all recommended actions.

    Prisma Health Tuomey Hospital is offering free virtual visits – a quick online option for common conditions. https://www.prismahealth.org/virtual-visit/

    MUSC Health is providing free telehealth screening - https://campaigns.muschealth.org/virtual-care/index.html

    The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) has set up a care line: 1-888-472-3432 and staffers are answering calls from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week.

    As events are cancelled or postponed, we will keep you up to date and informed about how the coronavirus is affecting our community.

    Sumter County Government has created a coronavirus web page as a source of information as we all work together to get through this.

    Sumter School District: As a safety precaution and proactive measure to reduce the risk of exposure, Sumter School District has made the difficult decision to suspend all in-state and out-of-state travel for employees and students until further notice. We are currently waiting on guidance from the South Carolina High School League to make a determination regarding athletics; however, effective immediately all other after-school events will be cancelled or rescheduled including concerts, family nights, PTA meetings, etc.

    Shaw Air Force Base: ALS Graduation, scheduled for Thursday, March 19, has been cancelled.

     

    Important sources of information:
    Centers for Disease Control: https://www.cdc.gov/

    South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control: https://www.scdhec.gov/

    South Carolina Emergency Management Division: https://www.scemd.org/

    Shaw Air Force Base: https://www.shaw.af.mil/Public-Affairs/COVID-19/

     

    SIMPLE THINGS YOU CAN DO TO STAY SAFE:

    Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

    Don’t touch your eyes, nose and mouth.

    Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and throw the tissue in the trash.

    Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a household cleaning spray or wipe.

    Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds.

    An alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol if soap and water aren’t available.