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Abbeville County gets help with COVID-19 response

swearing in

Chief Magistrate Judge Carolyn Brownlee swears in new councilman Rick Campbell as his wife, Ann, looks on, at Monday’s meeting of Abbeville County Council.

ABBEVILLE — Health of residents was a focus at the Abbeville County Council as residents 70 years and older can sign up for vaccinations for COVID-19 starting Wednesday.

County Director David Garner at Monday’s meeting explained Gov. Henry McMaster released a news release announcing the plan. The website has a section for scheduling of vaccinations.

Garner also said the vaccine has been available to the county’s first responders.

The vaccine can only be administered by appointment — a person can’t walk into a health care facility and ask for vaccine, according to a news release from McMaster’s office.

Residents will be asked to provide a driver’s license or another form of ID at their appointment that confirms their age and, therefore, their eligibility to receive the vaccine.

People eligible to receive the vaccine can schedule an appointment by visiting the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control website or by calling the DHEC Care Line at 855-472-3432 which includes several major hospitals, seven DHEC sites, a DHEC mobile clinic, and 12 Doctor’s Cares locations. An additional 50 locations will be added to this list and available to provide a vaccine by the beginning of next week.

Coronavirus was a concern for Councilman John Calhoun who advised all people to wear masks.

An Elvis Birthday Celebration in the Carolinas at the Abbeville Opera House that was set for Saturday was delayed to Jan. 30. The number of COVID-19 cases in the county was cited as the reason for the postponement.

Mask wearing is a concern for business owners as well. One downtown businesswoman said at a recent promotion for city merchants only about 50% of visitors actually wore masks.

Council members also approved an ordinance declaring a state of emergency in response to COVID-19. Garner responded to a councilmember’s concern about outdated information on the county’s website, explaining it will be updated with changes to county operations.

Garner also said that Abbeville County has been approved for fund reimbursement in its fight against COVID-19. He said reimbursement covers up to $80,000 in expenses.

In other business:

New councilmembers were sworn in by Chief Magistrate Judge Carolyn Brownlee. They are Rick Campbell, Charles Goodwin, William Norris and James McCord.

A hazardous mitigation plan was approved. Garner said the plan has to be updated every five years for the county to get grand funding from the federal government. Funds are used to repair roads and buildings to a condition where they will be less susceptible to damage.

Councilmember William Norris and Charles Goodwin vied for the council chairman position. Norris was elected in a 4-3 vote.

Goodwin was elected vice chairman. He received four votes, while Councilman James McCord received three votes.

The council tabled until February’s meeting an ordinance which would have authorized the county to enter a contract with Alliance Consulting Engineers for services related to development of a water and limited wastewater infrastructure study.

The council approved third reading of an ordinance to change the county zoning map for an 8.09-acre lot of land between Highway 72 East and Mill Road North at the Greenwood County line. The change is from forest agricultural to general commercial.

COVID-19

LATEST DEVELOPMENTS

April 9 will be an e-learning day in Greenwood County School District 50 so that employees can participate in a second vaccination event at the Self Regional Support Building, 104 Wells Ave.

About 2.7 million South Carolinians will be able to sign up for a COVID-19 vaccine starting Monday, and health officials are trusting that the right people will sign up to get it.

More people will soon have access to COVID-19 vaccines after South Carolina enters phase 1b of its vaccination plan starting next Monday.

Greenwood County School District 52 released new COVID-19 information on Tuesday.

Greenwood City Council voted 5-2 to extend a face-covering requirement for the city during a special called meeting Monday night. Mayor Brandon Smith and Councilman Ronnie Ables voted against the emergency ordinance.

New cases continue to be well below what South Carolina saw during the winter surge and hospitalizations continue to drop.

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

As the Lakelands and the country respond to the novel coronavirus pandemic, which has led to state and national emergency declarations, it is vital for everyone to have up-to-date information about the virus and its spread. As such, we're providing free access to all of our COVID-19 coverage, which is available on this page.

Here's the latest information on COVID-19 from health agencies and hospitals: