BY BOBBY BRYANT
NEW ORDER ON CROWDS: S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster has issued an executive order allowing law-enforcement officers to disperse crowds of three or more if deemed “a threat to public health.”
These types of public parties, “boisterous” gatherings, “spontaneous” gatherings in parking lots, etc., would be misdemeanors.
McMaster said in a statement: “Law enforcement has the ability to disperse groups of people who pose a risk to the public’s safety and to the safety of others.
“It does not apply to private businesses nor to responsible South Carolinians continuing to make the best out of this situation. … This is not a shelter-in-place order but another measure aimed at containing the virus by controlling crowds, so that we do not have to shelter in place.”
NO CURFEWS YET: Local governments in Darlington County – such as the county, the city of Darlington and the city of Hartsville — have not implemented curfews at this time. Hartsville’s Facebook page says: “We do encourage all residents to stay inside and maintain all social distancing guidelines as much as possible. Together, we can help flatten the (infection) curve.”
FDTC POSTPONES GRADUATION CEREMONIES: Because of the coronavirus outbreak, Florence-Darlington Technical College (FDTC) will host its Spring 2020 Commencement Ceremony at a later date, the school announced March 24.
FDTC is not canceling this year’s Commencement Ceremony, but school leaders will make a decision later, once the outlook on the COVID-19 outbreak becomes clearer. The decision to postpone commencement is consistent with other colleges and universities in the region, the school said.
Last week, FDTC transitioned to offering the majority of its courses online, and will continue this throughout the remainder of the spring semester.
“We have transitioned to offering most of our instruction in an online format,” said FDTC Interim President Edward Bethea. “The situation remains very fluid, but solutions and options are coming to the forefront each day. We are making provisions for Wi-Fi access – not only in our parking lots but also at our Cosmetology Center and our sites in Lake City, Mullins and Hartsville.”
COUNTRY CLUB GOES CURBSIDE: The Darlington Country Club, 125 Country Club Road, has begun offering curbside service now that Gov. Henry McMaster has ordered all S.C. restaurants to stop letting customers dine inside. They will bring your order to your car between 5:30 and 7 p.m. Call 843-393-0236 ext. 102 or 103.
DAVID BEASLEY UPDATE: Beasley, a former S.C. governor and Society Hill native, has tested positive for coronavirus. On his Facebook page March 21, Beasley posted: “This morning I am feeling pretty decent. But usually I do feel good in the early mornings. I do hope the wors(t) is behind me. Biggest concern for me now is making sure my chest/lungs stay good. Pray for that.”
“I want to say how touched I am from all of you reaching out in love, thoughts, and prayers,” he wrote. “I have even had prime ministers, presidents, senators, etc., call/text, and as you can imagine, they are very concerned not just about me but about the people.”