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South Carolina receives second shipment of Personal protective Equipment
SC National Guard

South Carolina received a second shipment of Personal protective Equipment, or PPEs, from the federal government, Saturday. The allotment included surgical gowns, face masks and gloves. 

The supplies are for healthcare providers responding to COVID-19 and were distributed to all 46 counties. SCDHEC said the distribution of materials was data driven, to ensure needs are fairly met, and was based on county populations.

MUSC Creates 3D Printed Protective Mask Anyone Can Make

8 hours ago
John Yost and Joshua Kim model first and second prototypes of 3D printed masks created by a team at the Medical University of South Carolina.
Sarah Pack/ MUSC

If building a personal protection mask that could be mass produced to fight the coronavirus pandemic was a puzzle, Joshua Kim was determined to figure it out.

The 25 year-old is the Senior Designer and Program Coordinator with the Department of Surgery at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston.

“That moment was an epiphany moment,” says Kim.  “It was a great moment.”

It was the moment Kim realized he could use an air filter, like those commonly found in home improvement stores, to build a respirator for a mask mimicking the N95 now in demand.

Chester County Sheriff's Office

Of the 39 county sheriff's races on tap satewide this November, the liveliest could be the one in Chester County, where two incumbents will vie to win the office.

Noah Fortson/NPR

Live video of White House will briefings on the nation's response to the COVID-19  pandemic can be found here daily. The start time for the Tuesday, March 31, briefing is 5:00 p.m. 

Charleston Enacts Stay At Home Ordinance

Mar 25, 2020
King Street in downtown Charleston following the statewide closure of restaurants and bars
Victoria Hansen/ SC Public Radio

The city of Charleston has become the first in the state of South Carolina to enact an ordinance requiring people to stay at home for the next 14 days, except for necessary trips like to the grocery store or pharmacy. The ordinance also closes all non-essential businesses.

Mayor John Tecklenburg says he decided to put the ordinance before the city council Tuesday night for emergency action because the Department of Health and Environmental Control has announced the coronavirus pandemic is in an acceleration phase across the state.

Scott Morgan / South Carolina Public Radio

Blood is in short supply, in large part because of the coronavirus outbreak, says Maya Franklin, a spokeswoman for the American Red Cross in Charlotte, NC.

“That’s resulted in dozens, if not hundreds, of blood drove cancellations by our sponsors,” she says.

That statement only refers to the Carolinas region between Rock Hill, SC, and Greensboro, NC. Nationally, says Franklin’s Rock Hill colleague, Ashley Collier, about 5,000 blood drives had been cancelled, through March 20.  

12 South Carolina Counties Have No ICU Beds

Mar 24, 2020
Allie Smith / Unsplash

This story was expanded on March 26 to include a look at what the data cited in the Kaiser Family Foundation report could mean for South Carolina's rural communities.

Owner Steven Niketas (far right) looks out from his empty restaurant "Stellas" in Charleston.
Victoria Hansen/ SC Public Radio

Vacant parking spaces stretch on, along empty sidewalks in downtown Charleston.  A lone man drags his luggage as he easily crosses typically bustling King Street.  It’s quiet; too quiet.

This is Charleston post coronavirus.

Down the street off upper King, the owner of Stella's Restaurant Steven Niketas breaks a sweat.  He’s anxious about the recent, emergency order from the governor closing restaurants and bars statewide.

Kaitlyn Cannon / SCETV

Business is suffering some of the worst effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Some, like restaurants, may not be able to make it back, even if our collective quarantine were to end today.

But a few industries are doing very well. In York County, at least, residential real estate is cruising along, thanks in part to historically low interest rates and an already healthy market in the ever-growing Charlotte metro region.

Members of the SC House of Representatives spill into the House balcony to insure proper "social distancing" during debate on Thursday, March 19, 2020
Russ McKinney/SC Public Radio

Like the state as a whole, the Sc General Assembly is being impacted by the coronavirus. The House and Senate held separate, one day sessions this week to approve an emergency appropriation for DHEC to help the public health agency deal with the growing pandemic.

A larger concern on the horizon for state lawmakers however is next year’s state operating budget, and how it might be impacted.

File photo of S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster giving a press briefing on COVID-19
File: SCETV

Tuesday, March 31, at 4:00 p.m. Governor Henry McMaster and his emergency response team will offer a live update on the state's efforts to battle the spread of the coronavirus. South Carolina Public Radio will broadcast the briefing.

South Carolina’s Mental Health Centers Remain Open

Mar 19, 2020
abstract mental health symbol
GDJ via Pixabay

Update, March 23, 2020: The Spartanburg Area Mental Health Center is now condusting routine consultations onlythrough phone and video. Director Roger Williams says serious cases, new patients, and patients exhibiting suicidal tendencies are still being seen in-person, after screening outside the building.

You can hear it in her voice.  Cacky Rivers who routinely eases the anxiety of brides on their big day is nervous.

"My dad said recently, 'This too shall pass', and that's what's kept me going."

Her voice trails off.  There's a long pause on the other end of the phone.

The "this" Rivers is referring to is the Coronavirus pandemic that has spread across the globe leaving a trail of death and economic uncertainty behind.

“It's a very scary situation," Rivers says.

She likens it to a hurricane, but worse.

U.S. Census Bureau

The Census. We've been doing it every 10 years since 1790 –  in part because it's in the Constitution and in part because it's really, really important to know how many of us there are and where we live.

That doesn't mean it's exactly easy to convince people to answer a bunch of personal questions. Jan Smiley, South Carolina partnership specialist with the U.S. Census Bureau, says Census takers often have to contend with citizens who are worried about what the bureau wants and what it's going to do with the information it collects.

The short answer, Smiley says, is nothing sinister.

Scott Morgan / South Carolina Public Radio

Rock Hill has two services the city's homeless population uses on a daily basis to get something to eat. One is the MyRide bus system, a free, citywide service for all; the other is the Dorothy Day Soup Kitchen,

MyRide drops off across the street from the soup kitchen Monday through Saturday at around 11:30 a.m. There, a usually packed No. 2 route bus mostly empties and riders make their way to a hot lunch at one of the soup kitchen's tables, amid plenty of chatty company.

On Monday, lunch was not hot, not chatty, and not served on a plate taken to a table. It was a ham and cheese sandwich, a ham buscuit, some snacks, and a diet Mountain Dew, placed inside a plastic shopping bag and given at the door. Guests took their lunches, thanking the women who give them, and strolling away to various places on a chilly, cloudy morning.

It is a meal most certainly made on the fly, in reaction to a stunning and sudden outbreak of a pandemic

that demands people all over the United States keep their distance from each other. Jan Stephenson, the director of Dorothy Day Soup Kitchen, says the sandwich-and-biscuit lunch is not ideal, but it is what could be done today.

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