‘CLOSE-CONTACT’ BUSINESSES CAN REOPEN: Starting this week, “close-contact” businesses such as barbershops, hair salons, nail salons, gyms and other facilities such as public pools can start reopening after the coronavirus shutdown.
Effective May 18, Gov. Henry McMaster lifted his restrictions on those businesses and athletic activities. “With our increased capacity for testing the people of our state, it is time to responsibly and gradually get these small businesses back up and running,” said McMaster.
There will be guidelines these businesses must follow, such as additional cleaning and sanitizing rules for equipment, tables, chairs, etc. There will also be extra guidance on health checks for employees.
PAGEANTS POSTPONED: Competitions for Miss South Carolina and Miss South Carolina Teen have been postponed until June 2021 because of COVID-19 concerns. The decision was made last week by the board of directors of the Miss South Carolina Scholarship Association.
DUKE DONATION: Duke Energy Foundation has announced a $150,000 donation to support low-income customers in the Palmetto State struggling to pay their utility bills during the COVID-19 crisis. This additional funding will increase the assistance available through the Energy Neighbor Fund and Share the Warmth programs to provide help to about 550 households with their utility bills. Funds can assist with heating or cooling costs.
VIRUS CASES IN NURSING HOMES: At least two nursing homes in Darlington County are reporting COVID-19 cases among residents or staff, according to the state Department of Health and Environmental Control. Bethea Baptist Health Care Center in Darlington was reporting 11 cases among residents and three cases among staff. Wilson Senior Care in Darlington was reporting two cases among staff. Carlyle Senior Care, Florence, seems to lead the list in the Pee Dee area with 61 cases among residents and 12 among staff, according to DHEC.
FREE MEALS: The Darlington County Council on Aging will be providing emergency meals to seniors 60 and older during the coronavirus crisis. Meals will be available for drive-through pickup at Council on Aging locations throughout Darlington County from 10 a.m. to noon each Tuesday. Seniors will be provided a box of free meals, on a first-come, first-served basis, at the senior center in Hartsville, Darlington, Lamar and Society Hill. Check out Facebook or call 843-393-8521.
Seniors, family members or a caregiver may pick up meals by providing the senior’s ID and required information. You must be a senior citizen (60-plus) or taking the meal to a senior citizen; you must be a resident of Darlington County; you must provide name, address, phone number and a nutrition survey at time of pickup; two meal boxes per car; individuals are only permitted one pick-up per week. Each eligible senior must provide a state-issued ID to receive a box.
Locations: Darlington Fitness World, 1032 Pearl St.; Hartsville Senior Center, 1103 S. Sixth St., Butler Building; Lamar Nutrition Center, 628 Carterville Highway, Robert L. Grooms Building; Society Hill Nutrition Community Center, 223 Hall St.
BY BOBBY BRYANT