Here are some helpful tips and resources for preventing the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The public health and safety of South Carolinians is always my utmost priority.
What is the Coronavirus?:
The Coronavirus, or COVID-19, is a respiratory illness which spreads from person to person. First reported in Wuhan, China on December 31, 2019 it has now infected nearly 90,000 people globally.
To combat the spread of misinformation regarding the virus, it is important that we separate facts from fiction and guard against xenophobia and racism. Please check reliable sources, such as these live updates from Centers for Disease Control for accurate and up-to-date information.
What should you do if you feel sick?
If you feel sick, stay home and contact your doctor.
If you don’t have a primary care physician, you can consult a doctor for free with MUSC’s online web site at: MUSC.care. Anyone can use the free application via a phone, tablet, or computer.
If you are concerned about this disease or want to learn more about prevention efforts, I urge you to visit the CDC’s website at cdc.gov/coronavirus or the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) website: scdhec.gov/health/infectious-diseases/viruses/coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19.
On April 6, 2020, Governor Henry McMaster announced he was issuing a statewide order people to limit their movements outside their home in an effort to fight to spread of COVID-19. The order stipulates South Carolinians must remain at home unless they are participating in "Essential Business" or "Essential Activities", including:
- Obtaining supplies essential to either the household or to working from home
- Seeking medical care
- Travelling to care for or visit a family member
- Attending religious services
- Travelling for court proceedings or other legal obligations
- Participating in outdoor recreation
- Caring for pets
People who work for "Critical Infrastructure Operations," a list of which can be found here, also are exempt from the order's call to stay home because of the importance and nature of their jobs.
On March 17, 2020, Governor Henry McMaster ordered all restaurants, bars, and cafeterias statewide to stop all dine-in activity beginning Wednesday, March 18, 2020. Eateries should continue to provide delivery and take-out options.
- He also prohibited organized events of more than 50 persons in a state, county, city, or other publicly-owned facility to reduce the spread of coronavirus. Essential government functions will continue.
On March 15, 2020, Governor Henry McMaster ordered all schools in the state of South Carolina to be closed until March 31, 2020. Grab-n-Go meal sites are up and running across the state so that children do not go hungry. Visit http://ed.sc.gov/covid19 for sites and hours open.
On March 13, 2020, the President issued a Proclamation on Declaring a National Emergency Concerning the Novel Coronavirus Disease Outbreak, and Governor McMaster declared a state of emergency in South Carolina. To keep updated on South Carolina closures and declarations, please visit" https://scdhec.gov/infectious-diseases/viruses/coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19
Here are some preventative actions the CDC recommends to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases like the coronavirus:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
- CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including coronavirus.
- Face masks should be used by people who show symptoms of the coronavirus to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
My office is also available to provide resources and information at (843) 352-7572.