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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.  

World Health Organization

As of Tuesday, the World Health Organization(WHO) identified 59 cases of COVID-19 in the United States. None are in South Carolina; but the case that has U.S. health officials wary is one from California. It was reported earlier this week and is the first to show up on American soil without being directly traceable to the person affected having any contact with a country or person known to already have it.

As of Thursday, health officials had no idea how the person contracted the illness

The spread of this particular strain of coronavirus has taken whole nations off-guard, and some health officials here in the United States as well. Dr. Melissa Nolan, an epidemiologist at the University of South Carolina, says she did not think COVID-19 would have turned into a global pandemic. But she remains confident that if South Carolina eventually reports cases of the illness (so far, there have been none reported here), the state will be able to handle it.

WalletHub

  

A new study from personal  finance and economics website WalletHub places South Carolina third overall in the level of engagement it sees from African-American voters, making the Palmetto State the most engaged among reliably red states.

While the study found that African-American voters were noticeably more engaged in states that went blue in the 2016 presidential election, black voter engagement here ranked higher than any traditionally blue state.

But it also ranks the state low on how easy it is for black voters to get to the polls at all.

Pianist David Virelles and percussionist Roman Diaz teach a class at the Charleston Jazz Academy
Victoria Hansen

Scribbling notes on a dry erase board just won't do.  So David Virelles plays them instead, on a piano.  The Cuban composer and pianist is teaching a masters class at the Charleston Jazz Academy in North Charleston, as part of the Spoleto arts festival's community outreach program.

In just a couple of hours, he's performing too.

"I hope the students walk away with what it takes to play music," Virelles says.  "It takes a lot of discipline, perseverance and love.  You have to be passionate about it and really spend time to be any good."