My Latest COVID-19 Update, Free Testing Availability and More Legislative News,


Dear Friends and Neighbors,

This has been a challenging and unusual time for our community, state, and country, to say the least. We've been in isolation for over 50 days and our children have been learning remotely and will not be returning to school this school year. While the uncertainty of the future is unnerving, I have been pleased by how we have responded to this pandemic as a community. I have also appreciated the time I have been able to spend with my husband and 2 daughters. We have been able to eat together as a family and do family activities every night during this period. A silver lining in this time of crisis.

As of May 4, 2020, Governor McMaster lifted the statewide “Work-or-Home” order and SC has returned to voluntary status. The governor also announced that restaurants throughout South Carolina may provide outdoor customer dining services in addition to existing take out, curbside, and delivery services.

The latest data from South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) shows that there are 135 new cases of COVID-19, binging the total number of confirmed cases to 6,757, and those who have died to 283.

According to DHEC, Richland County has the highest number of cases in South Carolina, specifically the areas with zip codes 29223 and 29229. The 29223 zip code had 181 confirmed and 1,112 estimated cases, and 29229 had 145 confirmed and 891 estimated cases.

In an effort to focus on those two areas, there will be 3 days of free COVID-19 testing available beginning Wednesday, May 6 through Friday, May 8 from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm at Rice Creek Elementary School located at 4751 Hardscrabble Road. No symptoms or doctor referral is required. Curbside and walk-up testing will be provided. Please take advantage of this opportunity if you have any concerns about being infected.

The Governor just announced the launch of the initial phase of accelerateSC website to quickly direct you to trending topics such as how to file for unemployment and/or employment opportunities. accelerate.sc.gov contains an “I Need To…” drop-down feature on its site to easily access links for information on these in-demand topics.

The Speaker of the House has called us back into session on Tuesday, May 12 at noon and has advised us to be prepared to meet on Wednesday, May 13 and Thursday, May 14. As elected members of the General Assembly, it is our responsibility to ensure that state government continues to operate. As emphasized by Speaker Lucas, the public health and economic damage which we would experience from even a slight interruption to the operation of state government is an unacceptable risk and forces us to act. Since our legislative session was set to adjourn sine die at 5:00 pm on Thursday, May 14, adjournment could be extended by 2 weeks which means that we may continue to meet past the May 14th deadline. I will keep you apprised as things develop legislatively.

In the meantime, please continue to take the necessary precautions to prevent the spread of the disease by monitoring for symptoms; practicing social distancing; avoiding touching frequently touched items; and regularly washing your hands.

Anyone with concerns about their health should reach out to their healthcare provider or use the telehealth services provided by several health care systems. For telehealth options and the latest information about DHEC’s COVID-19 response efforts, please visit scdhec.gov/COVID-19. For stress, anxiety and mental health resources from the S.C. Department of Mental Health. Visit scdmh.net

For general questions about COVID-19, the DHEC Care Line is there to help. Call 1-855-472-3432 if you have any questions or concerns. Staff will be answering calls 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day in English and Spanish.

The DHEC COVID-19 site at scdhec.gov/covid19 is updated often to provide you with the most up-to-date information on the virus. For additional resources, residents may also visit CDC's COVID-19 webpage.

Be safe! Stay vigilant!

Best,

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