Kershaw Co. leaders discuss COVID-19, new steps to prevent spread of the virus

Kershaw Co. Schools provide meals to students, continue instruction with E-learning program

KERSHAW COUNTY, S.C. (WIS) - This afternoon, local Kershaw County leaders and officials gathered to brief the public about the current COVID-19 situation in Camden and Kershaw County. Right now, 18 people in Kershaw County have tested positive for the virus, which is more than half of the total number of cases in South Carolina.

Kershaw County Administrator, Vic Carpenter, and Camden City Manager, Mel Pearson, are asking people to take advantage of paying taxes and bills online.

The county and city have also waived the convenience fees for paying online. There is also now a drop box at the back of the Kershaw County Government Center. Both say residents’ services will not be cut off for not paying utility bills during this difficult time, and late fees will not be applied.

All court hearings and trials in the county courthouse have been postponed through Monday, March 23rd. Libraries in the area have reduced their hours and will be closed at 3:30 p.m. on weekdays and closed all day Saturday and Sunday.

Camden is closing all of its city facilities, except for City Hall and the Camden Police Department headquarters. Visitors will only be allowed in the front lobby of the Police Department. Camden Fire Department is also suspending all non-emergency services.

The city strongly advises all citizens to avoid or cancel all large public gatherings, including church services. All city parks will remain open as of right now, but that could change.

CEO of Kershaw Health, Sue Shugart, says the hospital has opened an isolated COVID-19 unit. This unit is where anyone being treated for the coronavirus or anyone who has symptoms of the virus will be treated. It's isolated from other patients and staff. The hospital's incident management team is working around-the-clock to ensure a coordinated response of the hospital's emergency plan.

Kershaw Health is also working with other agencies to make sure it has enough supplies. "We are also working closely with SCDHEC to ensure our hospital is offering appropriate and adequate testing, and we are working with regional partners and our national network of suppliers to make sure we have adequate supplies to care for patients and protect our staff specifically with personal protective equipment," said Shugart.

Shugart says there is now a SCDHEC staff member in Kershaw County at all times to advise hospital staff. She also says some patients treated at Kershaw Health for COVID-19 were able to return to their homes to self-isolate, while others have required intensive care.

Right now, the hospital says it has an adequate number of testing kits, but as cases continue to pop up in Kershaw County, Shugart says the hospital is working to make sure it has enough for the weeks to come.

Kershaw County has acitivated a coronavirus hotline that will operate from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. every day. If you have questions about matters pertaining coronavirus in Kershaw County you can call that hotline at 803-425-7242.

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