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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

At 4pm today, Governor McMaster will announce that he is ordering the closing of all public schools in the State of South Carolina starting tomorrow Monday, March 16th. Schools will remain closed through the end of the month - March 31st. This includes K-12 schools, all universities, colleges, and technical colleges.

Governor McMaster has granted state agency leaders maximum flexibility to protect their older “at risk” employees by allowing work from home. Additionally all non-essential work related travel by state employees is now prohibited.

Governor McMaster has requested that all utilities in South Carolina not suspend or disconnect any essential services for nonpayment for the duration of the current State of Emergency.

As more is learned and announced, DHEC will continue to update its website at Please access this site for more detailed information and to stay up-to-date on the latest national recommendations.

Please remember these important steps we can take to help stay healthy, as recommended by the CDC:

  1. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.

  2. The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

a. Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).

b. Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

  1. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

Clean your hands often
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Avoid Close Contact
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick

  • Put distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.

Stay home if you’re sick
  • Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care. Learn what to do if you are sick.

Cover coughs and sneezes
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.

  • Throw used tissues in the trash.

  • Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Wear a facemask if you are sick
  • If you are sick: You should wear a facemask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. If you are not able to wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then you should do your best to cover your coughs and sneezes, and people who are caring for you should wear a facemask if they enter your room. Learn what to do if you are sick.

  • If you are NOT sick: You do not need to wear a facemask unless you are caring for someone who is sick (and they are not able to wear a facemask). Facemasks may be in short supply and they should be saved for caregivers.

Clean and disinfect
  • Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.

  • If surfaces are dirty, clean them: Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.

Be vigilant and safe. We will get through this together as a community.

If you have any questions or concerns about this update, please let me know.


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