New coronavirus cases continue to trend downward.
This is good news. Masks ordinances, throughout the state, appear to be affecting the reduction of new cases.
The not-so-good news is South Carolina is still reporting between 500 - 850 new cases a day. Just a few weeks ago, the state was reporting more than 1,000 new cases daily.
As of Tuesday, the Bluffton zip code of 29910 continues to lead the county with 1,135 cases. The county has recorded 4,569 total cases this year.
Today, Bluffton Town Council extended its mask ordinance until November 1. If cases signficantly decrease, Town Council can always rescind the ordinance at an earlier date.
The Town of Hilton Head Island also recently extended its face covering ordinance and Beaufort County also extended its ordinance as well. Generally speaking, wear a face covering whenever you are in public in Beaufort County.
Yesterday, Governor Henry McMaster also extended the state of emergency for South Carolina so the requirements below are still in effect.
• Restaurants and food/beverage establishments are required to do the following:
- Restaurants employees & patrons must wear face coverings, unless actively eating or drinking.
- Dine-in services must not exceed 50% capacity, tables must be 6 feet apart and no more than 8 people are allowed to sit at one table, unless they are from the same family.
- Standing or congregating at a bar is prohibited
- Alcohol sales and consumption are prohibited from 11 p.m. – 10 a.m.
• Entertainment businesses, such as festivals, parades, concerts, theaters, stadiums, amphitheaters, gymnasiums, concert hall, performing arts centers, parks, racetracks and other similar operations, are allowed to be open with the following requirements and restrictions.
- Attendance may not exceed 50% of the certificate of occupancy – or 250 persons – whichever is less.
- All employees and patrons must wear a face covering while entering and during the time spent at the establishment.
- There must be social distancing, cleaning and hygiene practices.
- Alcohol sales and consumption is prohibited from 11 p.m. – 10 a.m.
- Exemptions may be granted for businesses or event organizers to exceed the above occupancy rules, by the SC Department of Commerce. The application for an exemption must detail how the organization will comply with the federal and state COVID-19 procedures.
This Executive Order and all of Governor McMaster’s orders are available via: https://governor.sc.gov/executive-branch/executive-orders
Below are several news summaries which may be of interest to you.
• Free COVID-19 Testing/Hilton Head: Below is a free testing site which requires no appointment, doctor’s referral or fee.
- Hilton Head High School: Wednesday, September 2, 7 a.m. – 11 a.m. Address: 1 Wilborn Road
• COVID-19 Testing/Hardeeville: Call to Register 843.784.6008. Agape Family Life Center, 5855 South Okatie Highway, Hardeeville. Saturday, September 12: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
• Mobile Testing Clinics Around SC: To stay informed of where additional mobile testing clinics are located, please refer to link: https://scdhec.gov/infectious-diseases/viruses/coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19/covid-19-mobile-pop-clinics. This page is updated as new testing clinics are confirmed. Residents can also receive a test at one of the many permanent COVID-19 testing facilities across the state. Visit scdhec.gov/covid19testing for more information on permanent testing locations.
• Recommended Face Coverings: A recent study by Duke University shows that neck gaiters may be among the least effective types of face coverings for preventing the spread of respiratory droplets. It’s best to use a close-fitting face covering which can be regularly washed or use disposal masks. N95 surgical-grade respirator masks offer the highest level of protection however, most of those are reserved for first responders and medical workers.
Mayor Lisa Sulka