EMERGENCY RESPONSE: CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK
UPDATED: 12:00 P.M., FRIDAY, APRIL 2, 2021
To find a list of free COVID-19 testing locations in South Carolina, click here.
To find a vaccine provider near you, click here to view SCDHEC's Vaccine Appointment webpage.
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 April 2, 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.
CIVIL EMERGENCY, EXECUTIVE ORDER & FACE MASKS
Myrtle Beach’s Declaration of Civil Emergency is in effect through April 30, and a new Executive Order urges continued face covering use for public safety and requires face coverings in city governmental buildings... Myrtle Beach Mayor Brenda Bethune is extending the year-long Civil Emergency Declaration related to COVID-19 through April, in recognition of the ongoing public health emergency caused by the global pandemic. In Horry County alone, more than 500 people have died from COVID-19 during the past year.
A new Executive Order No. 14 issued Wednesday, March 31, 2021, by City Manager Fox Simons takes effect Thursday, April 1, and replaces all previous executive orders. The new Executive Order recognizes the continued severity of the COVID-19 situation, locally and nationally, and strongly urges residents, visitors and businesses to continue wearing face coverings for everyone’s protection.
“Businesses have the option of requiring masks in indoor public spaces if their staff and patrons are concerned about contracting COVID-19 from each other, and we encourage them to exercise that option,” City Manager Simons said. The new Executive Order continues the requirement for face coverings in Myrtle Beach city offices and governmental buildings.
Under the new Executive Order, temporary signage allowances granted last year for restaurants and businesses will continue through April, expiring May 1, 2021. The business license payment extension option for 2021 is continued, as before, in the new Executive Order.
“We are one year into the global pandemic caused by COVID-19. By now, the public fully understands the importance of health and safety protocols, including the use of face coverings,” Simons added. “We must protect each other from the spread of this illness. Personal responsibility must drive our actions and choices, and for that reason we urge everyone to wear a face covering when in close proximity to others who are not in your immediate family.”
To view the orders, click the links below.
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
Myrtle Beach city facilities will increase occupancy to 75-percent of capacity, effective Thursday, April 1... Many city buildings have been operating at reduced capacity or were closed to the public due to COVID-19. Beginning April 1, recreation centers, including gyms, pools and other spaces will return to 75-percent occupancy, as will Chapin Memorial Library. The lobby of the Ted C. Collins Law Enforcement Center is already open. City Hall and the City Services Building will reopen on April 1.
Private rentals at Mary C. Canty Recreation Center, General Robert H. Reed Recreation Center and the Myrtle Beach Train Depot have returned to full capacity. Youth and Adult Sports will allow spectators again, with staff continuing to sanitize dugouts and high-touch surfaces.
Please be advised that face masks may still be required indoors and temperature checks may be conducted. Boards, commissions and committees may meet in person or virtually, depending on the chairman’s preference. Tentative plans call for city facilities to resume 100-percent occupancy on May 1, unless circumstances change.
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.
SERVICES & UPDATED PROTOCOLS
Here's a helpful list of city services, with information regarding the city's updated protocols....
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org for information.
- Utility Billing: Learn More
- Pay Utility Bill - IVR Customer Portal
- Pay Utility Bill - Utility E-Service
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.
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 email@example.com. Or, call 803-737-3953.
DO YOUR PART: “FOLLOW THE FIVE” AND HELP SAVE LIVES
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.
- 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.
- Feeling unwell? Stay home! Keep away from others and contact your healthcare provider immediately to receive instructions.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.