Since our last update, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the State of South Carolina has continued to grow at an alarming rate. Just 3 weeks ago, the state was experiencing an average of more than 400 new cases per day over the preceding 7 days. Over the last week, however, that number has jumped threefold to an average of more than 1,200 cases per day. While testing has increased over the intervening weeks, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) has noted a significant increase in the percentage of tests coming back positive, as well as a dramatic rise in hospitalizations, both of which indicate the presence of community spread.
According to SCDHEC, there have been more than 3,600 confirmed cases in Charleston County and 177 in the 29455 Zip Code, which contains Seabrook, Kiawah and Johns Islands. Many have asked how many cases have been confirmed on Seabrook Island. The short answer is: SCDHEC does not publish case counts for municipalities, so we don’t know for certain. (And yes, we have all asked!)
South Carolina is currently experiencing one of the fastest growth rates in the country. Last week, the governors of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut implemented a mandatory 14-day quarantine for visitors entering their respective states from areas with significant community spread, including South Carolina. This is a dramatic change of events since March, when Governor Henry McMaster required a mandatory 14-day quarantine for visitors entering the state of South Carolina from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
The best way to protect yourself is to assume 1) every person you come into contact with has the virus, and 2) you yourself have the virus. To minimize the risk of exposure and to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that individuals take the following precautions:
Hand Hygiene: Wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds, use hand sanitizer, avoid of touching your face and mouth, and avoid shaking hands with others.
Social Distancing: Maintain at least six feet of separation between yourself and others.
Travel: Avoid unnecessary travel, especially to areas of high concentrations of cases of infection.
Limit Contact with the Sick and Elderly: Cease visits to nursing homes and other extended care facilities, except in the case of end-of-life circumstances.
Wear a Face Covering or Mask: The CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings or masks in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (such as grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.
Town Council to Hold Emergency Meeting on Tues. June 30th
Seabrook Island Town Council will hold an emergency meeting on Tuesday, June 30th, at 10:00 am. During the emergency meeting, Town Council will consider an emergency ordinance to require the wearing of face coverings at all business establishments within the town.
Individuals who wish to submit a public comment on the proposed emergency ordinance may do so in advance of the meeting using one of the options listed below. Written comments will be accepted until 9:00 a.m. on the day of the meeting.
Online: Public Comment Portal
Drop Off: 2001 Seabrook Island Road, Seabrook Island, SC 29455
Consistent with recommendations from the CDC related to “social distancing,” the Town of Seabrook Island is requesting that members of the public who wish to observe this meeting participate remotely by using one of the following options:
Watch Live: Live Stream Video (YouTube)
Listen by Phone: (712) 770-5505; Access Code 659-714
Social Distancing on the Beach
As we gear up for the busiest weekend of the year, residents and visitors are reminded that the town remains under a state of emergency due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. While the beaches of Seabrook Island remain open for recreational activities, groups of more than 10 individuals are currently prohibited. In addition, all individuals, regardless of whether visiting the beach alone or in a group, should practice “social distancing” by maintaining a minimum separation of 6 feet from others. The town’s beach patrol and code enforcement officers are authorized to enforce these requirements and may order the dispersal of large groups. Violators are also subject to fines of up to $500.00 per day (plus state assessments and surcharges) upon conviction.
Seabrook Island Town Hall Remains Open to the Public
Seabrook Island Town Hall remains open to the public during regular business hours (Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 4:00 pm). To maintain social distancing, no more than two customers are allowed inside the building at a time. Public access is limited to the lobby area only and public restrooms will remain closed. Beginning on Tuesday, June 30th, all individuals entering town hall must wear a mask or face covering. All public meetings – including Town Council, board, commission and committee meetings – will continue to be held “virtually” for the foreseeable future.
The town encourages residents, property owners, business owners and contractors to continue using “virtual services” to the greatest extent possible. For assistance during normal operating hours, please contact us by phone at (843) 768-9121 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. For your convenience, the town has also located a drop box on the front porch at Town Hall.
For general questions about COVID-19, please contact the SCDHEC Care Line at (855) 472-3432. Staff will be available to answer calls from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm seven days a week.
For the most reliable information about COVID-19, including what to do if you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms, residents are strongly encouraged to visit official resources, including the SCDHEC and CDC websites.
Official updates from the Town of Seabrook Island will continue to be posted on the following channels:
Town WEBSITE: www.townofseabrookisland.org
Town TWITTER feed: www.twitter.com/seabrookislnd87
Town FACEBOOK page: www.facebook.com/townofseabrookisland
Property owners and managers with rental guests should forward this information to their rental guests. Owners and managers of commercial establishments are also encouraged to share this information with their employees.
-Submitted by Joseph M. Cronin, Town Administrator
Town of Seabrook Island
2001 Seabrook Island Road
Seabrook Island, SC 29455
Office: (843) 768-5321
Cell: (843) 637-9832