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Abbeville County officials plan to reopen facilities Tuesday

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Abbeville County will take a step toward normalcy as all facilities will reopen to the public Tuesday.

In coordination with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, Abbeville County Emergency Service’s Emergency Management Division have allowed facilities to reopen under certain guidelines — including when the public enters said facilities they will be expected to comply with locally posted and prescribed precautions maintaining social distancing and appropriate personal protective equipment. Facilities set to reopen include the administrative complex, animal shelter, law enforcement center, courthouse, landfill/convenience centers, fire department and library.

Officials are still encouraging that as much business as possible be conducted via phone, mail, email or online to avoid any unnecessary risk of exposure. Only the necessary number of individuals should enter a facility to conduct business.

The main branch of the Abbeville County Library will open Tuesday for normal operating hours with the following adjustments:

Only 25 patrons will be allowed in the library at one time.

Patrons can check out materials, pick up holds and use public computers (rearranged to allow for social distancing with no computer assistance available). Copier/scanner and fax machines will only be available through staff.

Toys and activity centers have been removed from the children’s area.

Patrons should make every attempt to wear a face mask or covering; however, it is not required.

Wi-Fi will remain on for patron access 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Meeting room reservations, volunteer service hours and in-house programs have been suspended.

All overdue charges will continue to be waived.

Facilities will close 30 minutes early to allow staff time to sanitize the library before the next day.

The Calhoun Falls branch will open June 1, and the Donalds branch will open June 8, with the same adjustments noted for the main branch.

New policies, guidelines and procedures will be in place for people visiting any Abbeville County facility. These policies include:

Visitors having their temperatures checked through a contactless thermometer at the front desk upon entering. Any visitor exhibiting a fever of 100.4 or greater will not be allowed admittance.

Visitors being required to wear a face mask while in any facility (except library). Visitors already wearing a mask will be allowed to use their own. Any visitors lacking a face mask will be provided one.

It is still preferred business be conducted via phone, email, fax, or mail to avoid any unnecessary potential transmission of COVID-19. If there are any questions regarding if business can be conducted via one of these methods, call the appropriate department ahead of time.

If an individual is concerned about possibly having the new coronavirus or begin having symptoms related to the illness — including a fever, cough, shortness of breath or have been in contact with someone who has the virus — DHEC recommends they use online virtual care centers or contact their primary care physician’s office. Virtual COVID-19 consultations are free. Below are links to several telehealth services provided throughout South Carolina.

MUSC Health — campaigns.muschealth.org/virtual-care/index.html

McLeod Health — mcleodhealth.org/services/care/telehealth/

Prisma Health — prismahealth.org/virtual-visit/

Roper St. Francis — rsfh.com/virtualcare/

Telephone screening services are available through Self Regional Healthcare, 864-725-4500

As a reminder, voter registration and elections absentee voting began May 11 at the administrative complex at 903 W. Greenwood St, Abbeville. A temporary room has been set up outside of council chambers to allow for a large enough area to maintain social distancing while conducting absentee voting.

Residents can access this office through the double doors on the southwest side of the administrative complex closest to council chambers. In-person absentee voting is available from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. For questions related to voter registration and elections including absentee voting, call 864-366-2400, ext. 53.

Contact reporter Jonathan Limehouse at 864-943-5644 or follow him on Twitter @jon_limehouse.

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