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Military In South Carolina Responds To COVID-19

Mar 26, 2020
The South Carolina National Guard is making plans for trucks and personnel when called upon by the state to assist with the fight against the spread of coronavirus.  Setting up tents outside hospitals and clinics and transporting equipment will be among t
The National Guard / Flickr

The coronavirus outbreak has brought together many organizations to fight the spread of this highly contagious disease, and that includes the military. Gov. Henry McMaster has called on the South Carolina National Guard to be on the alert in case it's needed.

The South Carolina Lede is here to keep you up to date on important news as the Palmetto State faces the COVID-19 virus.  There is so much news out there right now it’s overwhelming. This podcast is for you to get information that matters to you, your family and your fellow South Carolinians. No hype. No fear. Just COVID-19 news and resources to get us all through this.

On this episode for March 26, 2020, we look at measures South Carolina's biggest cities are taking to prevent the spread of the virus, get the latest on the $2 trillion federal stimilus bill, speak with a boutique in Florence, SC, making fabric surgical masks, and more.

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.  

Fort Jackson Confirms Two COVID-19 Cases

Mar 24, 2020
Fort Jackson Commander Brig. Gen. Milford H. Beagle, Jr. the installation's first two confirmed cases of COVID-19 and explains measures being used to limit the spread.
Fort Jackson

Almost three weeks after the first two cases of Coronavirus in South Carolina were investigated, Fort Jackson announced it has two confirmed cases of the COVID-19 disease, caused by the virus.

In a release, the installation said one is a soldier in training with 3rd battalion, 13th Infantry Regiment, and the other is an officer attending the Adjutant General Basic Officer Leader Course.

Fort Jackson confirmed both service members are in isolation and receiving necessary medical care and they will not return to duty until medically cleared.

Updated: 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.

The South Carolina Lede is here to keep you up to date on important news as the Palmetto State faces the COVID-19 virus.  There is so much news out there right now it’s overwhelming. This podcast is for you to get information that matters to you, your family and your fellow South Carolinians. No hype. No fear. Just COVID-19 news and resources to get us all through this.

On this episode for March 24, 2020, we look at the latest updates concerning COVID-19 in South Carolina. According to Department of Health and Environmental Control officials, the virus has entered the acceleration phase in the state: There have been five deaths out of 298 cases reported in 34 counties (as of March 23 at 4:30 p.m.), with 103 new cases being reported between Sunday and Monday of this week.

We also discuss the $45 million emergency funding bill just signed by Gov. Henry McMaster, the impact of COVID-19 on Charleston restaurants, and more.

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.

Pallets of personal protective equipment and other supplies for distribution in SC
Sgt. Tim Andrews/ South Carolina National Guard

The number of COVID19 Cases in South Carolina continued to rise over the weekend. As of Sunday, the state’s Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) was investigating 195 cases and in a statement said it expected more cases to be documented.

“We want people to be prepared for more cases to occur and to continue to listen to and follow recommendations from public health officials,” said agency physician Dr. Brannon Traxler.

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.

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.

The South Carolina Lede is here to keep you up to date on important news as the Palmetto State faces the COVID-19 virus.  There is so much news out there right now it’s overwhelming. This podcast is for you to get information that matters to you, your family and your fellow South Carolinians. No hype. No fear. Just COVID-19 news and resources to get us all through this.

On this episode for March 18, 2020, we look at emergency funding measures passed by the state Senate, what a feeding operation for students in Kershaw County looks like and what the scene was like in Five Points on the last night bars were open in the state.

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.

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