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MLK march delayed amid COVID concerns

To keep a dream of unity from turning into a super-spreader event, the people behind the annual Dream Builders of Greenwood Martin Luther King Jr. march are delaying it.

“We’re looking at the numbers. I had COVID, and some other folks I know have had COVID,” said Donald Burton, co-founder of Dream Builders. “We just said that maybe it may not be a good time.”

The annual march has gone on despite biting cold and inclement weather in recent years, with crowds of more than 50 people each year marching from the Greenwood County Courthouse to Weston Chapel AME Church on East Cambridge Avenue. It’s brought together people of all ages, creeds and races to celebrate learning from history and unifying through the messages of the civil rights movement.

The march in 2020 took place Jan. 20 — the same day the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identified its first U.S. COVID-19 patient in Washington state. Since that first diagnosis, more than 22 million people have contracted COVID-19 in the U.S, with more than 373,000 of them dying.

Burton said he contracted it a while back, and experienced mild symptoms. However, he’s known several people who have died of the virus.

“I don’t see the numbers dropping anywhere between now and Monday,” he said. “We didn’t want to have that on our hands, that someone came and our event became a super-spreader.”

Burton said he’ll work with other civic organizations to plan an event later in the year, with a date and details to be announced later. Until then, he said, he just wants people to stay safe.

Contact staff writer Damian Dominguez at 864-634-7548 or follow on Twitter @IJDDOMINGUEZ.



McCORMICK — Spencer Franks, pharmacist at Strom’s Drug Store, wears a headset as he talks to doctors and customers on the phone, all while filling prescriptions at Strom’s.

COVID-19 case numbers are dropping in Greenwood and across South Carolina, but state health officials warn that the lull after a surge in cases has often been followed by another spike.

Greenwood County School District 52 released an update Tuesday morning on last week’s COVID-19 cases.

Greenwood Probate Judge Travis Moore has seen firsthand the difficulties that families face when a loved one is hospitalized from COVID-19. If proper paperwork is not in order, the process of making decisions on that loved one’s behalf can be difficult.

State health officials reported 1,617 new confirmed cases and 398 probable cases of the novel coronavirus on Saturday, along with 26 additional confirmed deaths and 17 probable deaths.

There’s still a long way to go in vaccinating people against COVID-19, but at Self Regional crews took a minute to celebrate a milestone Friday — the staff at Self has administered more than 25,000 doses of vaccine so far.

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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