Anderson County restricting public access to buildings, facilities

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Addressing coronavirus concerns
Anderson County officials are following COVID-19 guidance from the Governor’s Office, the Center for Disease Control, SC-DHEC, and the White House and the result is limited access to County buildings and facilities, including parks.
County officials decided to restrict public access to County buildings effective at open of business on Wednesday, March 18. County offices will be open, and staff will provide services by telephone, email, and online.
 Due to concerns of spreading the coronavirus, County Council also decided to cancel its regular meeting scheduled Tuesday evening. All items on the agenda will be on next Council agenda and addressed at the next meeting. “County Council and staff are monitoring this situation hourly and feel that the above actions are in the best interest of Anderson County and its citizens at this time,” said County Administrator Rusty Burns.
 On Sunday,  Anderson County  announced changes in its operation following identification of two presumptive positive cases of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus. The changes will last through the end of March with the possibility of extension depending upon developments in that timeframe.
  On Monday, Emergency management director and former Williamston Police Chief David Baker described the changes as “common sense precautions that will help this virus run its course as quickly and quietly as possible. He reiterated that two presumptive positive tests for the coronavirus have been discovered. “The tests were performed over the weekend so the reports aren’t confirmed yet, but results are expected very soon.”
He explained that the usual cold and allergy and flu seasons are complicating the issue, by presenting symptoms that may have nothing to do with the virus, but which still cause concern among those exhibiting the symptoms. “What I do know is that the recommended actions are working. Social distancing is working. If you are sick, stay home. If you know someone who is sick, stay away from them. Wash your hands often and disinfect common surfaces in your home and workplace.”
He added that the PAWS animal shelter is closed, and handling animal emergencies only, and that Clerk of Court Richard Shirley has released all jurors, including the grand jury that was scheduled to convene soon.
Following recommendations from the CDC, SCDHEC, and the Governor’s Office, the County will also be implementing the following measures to limit transmission of the virus among residents:

·         Any and all County business, if possible, will be conducted online or by telephone, through the end of March.
·         County offices will remain open, but this is subject to change, as officials will be reviewing the situation on an hourly basis.
·         All events at the Anderson County Civic Center, Sports Complex, and Amphitheater will be postponed or canceled through the end of March. The Anderson County Museum and Anderson County PAWS Animal Shelter will be closed through the end of March.

Taking into consideration CDC and DHEC recommendations on social distancing and measures taken across the nation, all County parks and public spaces closed until further notice. All County park restroom facilities will also be closed to the public. This park closure includes: Kid Venture, Green Pond, and McFalls Landing.
Other entities being affected include:
·         Circuit Court: Per Clerk of Court Richard Shirley, jury trials in Circuit Court scheduled to convene on March 23, 2020 and March 30, 2020 have been canceled. Summoned jurors should not report for jury duty.
·         Summary Court: Per Chief Magistrate Linda Dudley-Graham, all bench and jury trials are postponed until April 13th. All will be rescheduled. Bond court will continue normally at 7 a.m. and 4 p.m.
·         Detention Center: Per Sheriff McBride, all visitation to the Anderson County Detention Center is suspended until further notice.
·         First responders will continue providing services. Non-emergency police reports should be made over the phone to (864) 260-4400.
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SCDHEC recommends the following preventive practices for individuals: 1) Wash hands often; 2) Avoid touching eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands; 3) Avoid contact with sick people; 4) Stay home while you are sick, avoid others; 5) Cover mouth/nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing.
·         Governor McMaster has announced all schools will be closed through the end of March and recommended against public gatherings of more than 100 individuals. Later, based on updated Federal guidelines, this number was changed to 10.

For general questions about COVID-19, visit scdhec.gov/covid19 or call the DHEC Care Line at (855) 472-3432, available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. If you believe you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, you can be assessed virtually through MUSC by visiting musc.care.