Governor, other state leaders give update on protective measures in place for older South Carolinians

Governor, other state leaders give update on protective measures in place for older South Carolinians

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Medical experts said older people are more at risk for COVID-19.

AARP of South Carolina hosted a Teletown Hall with Governor Henry McMaster and other state leaders. They spoke to thousands of seniors who dialed into the call about what they are doing to protect them.

Officials said this pandemic is something completely new and different, but because of recent hurricanes and other statewide disasters we've had in the past, they have plenty of experience working together in a time like this.

"We are awake, alert, and at high capacity and at the highest mobility," Governor McMaster said on the call.

The governor talked about different measures in place to protect older South Carolinians. He mentioned some grocery stores have created “Senior Hour,” a designated time for older people to get their shopping done before the rest of the public can come in.

The Department on Aging said they have closed more than 100 of their senior centers that serve as meal sites. The purpose is to keep older people at home.

Director Connie Munn said they have partnered with the Department of Education to deliver meals to these older South Carolinians, which is similar to what's being done for students.

"With our partnership with Superintendent Spearman and school districts, we look forward to getting out to the rural areas to continue the meal services there," she said.

Munn also said they are keeping close contact with people who rely on their services.

Director Rick Toomey from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) was also on the call. He said, right now, the South Carolina National Guard is helping distribute the state's share of the national stockpile of medical supplies they received earlier this week.

"The strategic national stockpile is essential equipment, face masks, face shields, and personal protective equipment," Toomey said.

Everyone on the call highly recommended practicing social distancing over the next few weeks.

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