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Coronavirus Advisory

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EMERGENCY RESPONSE:  CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK
UPDATED:  5:00 P.M., THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2021

To find a list of free COVID-19 testing locations in South Carolina, click here.

NOTE:  FOR MORE INFORMATION, SEE THE MYRTLE BEACH CITY GOVERNMENT FACEBOOK PAGE.

OVERVIEW

Your health and safety are our top priority!  Senior staff and the emergency management team for the City of Myrtle Beach continue to meet to assess the situation in light of the reported cases of coronavirus in Horry County.  The city looks to state and federal leadership regarding restrictions and guidance, and we are taking the necessary health precautions to make sure that everyone is safe.  Please continue to practice safe habits and limit contact with others.

As of February 25, 2021, city personnel continue daily operations.  City team members wear masks, practice social distancing and take the necessary health precautions to ensure a clean and safe work environment.  The City of Myrtle Beach has implemented both a hiring freeze and a spending freeze during this emergency period.  New personnel positions will be filled if deemed critical to the city's operation.  Any new spending is curtailed and must be specifically authorized.   

For a downloadable list of city services and staff contact information, click here.

FACE MASKS

Face masks are required in Myrtle Beach...  The Myrtle Beach City Council unanimously supported a public mask requirement during a special Council meeting on July 2.  The order requires residents and visitors, ages 10 and up, to wear a cloth face mask at retail and food service establishments, as well as in public spaces at overnight accommodations.  That executive order has been extended through March 31, 2021.

Customers must wear a mask in enclosed areas of retail stores, grocery stores, pharmacies, personal care businesses, professional services and gyms and fitness centers, among other locations, with limited exceptions.  Retail, restaurant and accommodation staff also must wear masks whenever they are in public areas or working with the public.  Failure to wear a mask when required is a civil infraction with a fine of up to $100 upon conviction. 

Exemptions from the mask requirement include when on the beach, when walking, when doing indoor or outdoor physical activity, in a car, in an unenclosed area of a retail or food service establishment, while actually eating, when working in a private office, within the same household as other family members or when an underlying medical condition precludes wearing a mask.  See the executive order for full details. 

The emergency order requiring masks in public is in place through March 31, 2021, unless lifted earlier.  In approving the order, City Council members encouraged residents and visitors to voluntarily comply for the health and safety of all.   Businesses where the staff are repeatedly cited for not wearing masks could be declared public nuisances and have their business licenses suspended. 

Statewide mask requirement...  South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster is requiring masks in restaurants, except when eating, statewide.  Here's the relevant excerpt from his Executive Order 2020-73:  “Restaurants shall require that all employees, customers, patrons, suppliers, vendors, and other visitors wear Face Coverings, as defined in Section 2(D) of this Order, except while actively engaged in eating or drinking, subject to any applicable exceptions set forth in Section 2(C)(1)–(10) of this Order.”


FIND COVID-19 FILES ONLINE

Here are links to the related COVID-19 files....


SOUTH CAROLINA GOVERNOR'S EXECUTIVE ORDERS

South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster's executive orders are actions intended to slow the spread of coronavirus and protect the state's residents.  To view all of Governor McMaster's executive orders, click here.  To see updates and the latest news from McMaster, click here.

FREE ONLINE GUIDES FOR BUSINESSES

Short Term Rental Businesses...  In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Vacation Rental Housekeeping Professionals (VRHP) and the Vacation Rental Management Association (VRMA) have compiled a list of recommended practices to ensure rigorous sanitation and disinfection protocols.  To view the free resource, click here.

Independent Retail Businesses...  Are you an independent retailer with concerns about how to reopen due to COVID-19?  If so, &Access offers a free, helpful guide regarding store re-openings and safety precautions.  To view the file, click here.

CITY FACILITIES, MEETINGS & EVENTS

FACILITIES & MEETINGS
The rise in positive COVID-19 cases in Horry County prompts renewed efforts to prevent the spread of the illness.  Below is the list of the City of Myrtle Beach’s revisited protocols, effective immediately.

Admission to City Facilities...

  • Admission to the city’s indoor facilities will be by appointment only.  Exclusions include the following:  recreation center access (granted to members and summer camp participants only at Crabtree Memorial Gymnasium, Mary C. Canty Recreation Center and Pepper Geddings Recreation Center); scheduled events at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center and Sports Center; and, City Council Workshops and Meetings.
  • All individuals, ages 10 and up, entering city facilities must wear a face mask or face shield.  Upon arrival and departure, temperatures will be taken utilizing a no-touch thermometer.  This requirement is not intended to deny access to members of the public who do not have a mask upon arrival.  We have a good supply from a reputable source, and they will be distributed to each location for individuals who arrive without a mask or shield.  
  • The Parks, Recreation, and Sports Tourism Department may develop new protocols for the public’s use of exercise equipment, gymnasiums, etc.
  • The Myrtle Beach Convention Center may develop new protocols for the public’s use of spaces (for private events only).

City Employees and Masks...

  • City employees shall also wear a mask whenever they interact with the public on a face-to-face basis, whether inside or outside of a building.
  • The Police Department may adopt a different standard for interactions by sworn officers in the conduct of their duties.
  • City employees must also wear a mask whenever meeting with other employees in the same room or when the employees share office space where it is difficult or impossible to consistently maintain at least six feet of social distancing.  Individuals who are working by themselves within their own office space are not required to wear masks.
  • Employees must wear masks while using break rooms, hallways, restroom facilities and other common areas of city facilities.
  • Employees must wear a mask whenever more than one individual is in the same city vehicle or personal vehicle on city business (no exceptions).

Chapin Memorial Library... 

The library’s zero contact pickup service will be available and encouraged.  Virtual programs will continue through the Chapin Memorial Library YouTube channel.  City personnel will maintain reduced capacity limits.  Questions?  Call 843-918-1275.  New facility hours are, as follows:

Monday through Thursday – 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Friday – 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Saturday – 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Sunday – Closed

City of Myrtle Beach's Recreation Centers... 

Below 
are the updated membership hours for Myrtle Beach’s recreation centers, which opened on Monday, June 15, 2020.  Access is limited to members only, and pools and showers remain closed. 

Crabtree Memorial Gymnasium, 1004 Crabtree Lane
Monday through Friday – 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Saturday – 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Sunday – Closed

Mary C. Canty Recreation Center, 971 Canal Street
Monday through Thursday – 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Friday – 8:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Saturday – 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Sunday – Closed

Pepper Geddings Recreation Center, 3205 North Oak Street
Monday through Friday – 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Saturday – 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Sunday – Closed

Savannah’s Playground
Open Regular Hours

MEETING ANNOUNCEMENTS
Announcements about meetings and events for subsequent weeks will be provided in a timely manner to Friday Fax email recipients.  To sign up,  fill out the simple Sign Up Form at the bottom of the Friday Fax webpage.  Or, see our Meeting Schedule webpage.

EVENTS
To see a list of events, visit the city's
 Events webpage.  For a helpful list of links to online e-resources, see our new E-Resources webpage.

SERVICES & UPDATED PROTOCOLS

Here's a helpful list of city services, with information regarding the city's updated protocols....

Police, Fire & EMS Services
Police, Fire and EMS services continue, and the Police and Fire Departments will respond to emergency events.  Our 911 dispatchers are pre-screening emergency calls to determine whether any respiratory distress is involved.  For non-emergency calls and routine reports, call the Police Department's non-emergency dispatch line at 843-918-1382.  Or, visit the Police Department’s P2C website to report an incident.  Myrtle Beach police officers are still conducting patrols.  The beach wheelchair service and fingerprinting services are both suspended until further notice.

Utility Payments
Remember, utility payment drop boxes are available at the City Services Building, 921 North Oak Street.  Payments and paperwork deposited into the night drop boxes will be processed after 48 hours.  The city's drive-through service window is also open.  You also may pay utility bills online.  See the links below for more information.  Questions?  Call 843-918-1212 or send an email to mbutilpay@cityofmyrtlebeach.com for information.
Solid Waste Collection
Solid waste services will be on their usual schedule this week.
 

SIGNAGE FLEXIBILITY FOR IN-CITY BUSINESSES

The City of Myrtle Beach is giving businesses more flexibility for additional signs and tents during the coronavirus emergency.  On March 18, 2020, the City Manager has signed an order allowing temporary signage and operational rules to help restaurants cope, effective immediately.   

As of July 24, 2020, Order 1B now extends to all in-city businesses, effective immediately...  To download the revised rules, click here.
  Questions?  For more information, please contact the Planning and Zoning Department at 843-918-1050.

WAYS TO HELP

In response to a request from the public, we've created a Ways to Help List during the COVID-19 health emergency.   The webpage offers a number of ways that our residents and businesses can reach out to support others in the area who are struggling with the economic effects created by this issue. 

MYRTLE BEACH INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

Although the airport is located within the city limits of Myrtle Beach, the city does NOT own, operate or have jurisdiction over airport activities.  For information, visit Myrtle Beach International Airport's website at https://www.flymyrtlebeach.com and http://www.flymyrtlebeach.com/coronavirus/

PRICE GOUGING IN SOUTH CAROLINA

The South Carolina Price Gouging Law is in effect.  The law protects against price gouging and scams, namely the action or attempted action of renting or selling a commodity at “an unconscionable price.”  To learn more, click here.  To report price gouging, send an email with supporting documentation and contact information to the South Carolina Attorney General at pricegouging@scag.govOr, call 803-737-3953.

DO YOUR PART:  “FOLLOW THE FIVE” AND HELP SAVE LIVES

Hands

The coronavirus illness is more severe among the elderly or those with pre-existing health conditions and compromised immune systems.  However, public health is a shared responsibility!  Follow the five steps below to ensure we protect our community, state and country from the coronavirus.

  1. Keep yourself healthy…  The best defense against respiratory illness – the common cold, flu or the coronavirus – is to keep yourself healthy.  Practice cleanliness, stay hydrated and eat healthy foods that contain Vitamin C and Vitamin D.
  2. Feeling unwell?  Stay home!  Keep away from others and contact your healthcare provider immediately to receive instructions.
  3. Care for your hands and face…  Wash your hands, and often, for 20 seconds with warm water and soap.  Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.  Do not touch your face!  And, disinfect surfaces touched within your home and work space as often as possible, including all electronic devices!
  4. Cover coughs and sneezes…  Always cough or sneeze into an elbow, and immediately sanitize the area affected.  When possible, cough or sneeze into tissues and discard in secure trash can straightaway.
  5. Distance yourself from others…  Maintain a distance of six feet, or more.  Avoid public places by ordering take out foods and utilize pick-up grocery services.

COVID-19 INFO & HELPFUL LINKS

What are the symptoms of this disease?  Coronavirus infection in humans can result in respiratory illness ranging from the common cold to more serious diseases such as pneumonia.  The symptoms are similar to those caused by other respiratory viruses, such as the flu, and include fever, cough and difficulty breathing. 

How does the virus spread?  The virus is spread by direct contact with respiratory droplets that are sneezed or coughed from people who are ill.  At this time, there is no specific treatment for the illness.  Instead, treatment involves supportive care for symptoms.  Efforts are underway to develop a vaccine.  Currently, it is thought that the novel coronavirus virus spreads from person-to-person between people who are in close contact with one another (within about six feet).  Based on other coronaviruses, symptoms may appear anywhere from two to 14 days after someone is exposed. 

Choose information sources wisely...  Information about this new illness is still developing, but be aware of the “infodemic” which often accompanies such a topic.  False information already exists online about the coronavirus, so stick to reliable websites for your information and updates.  Here are several sites to consider.