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Coronavirus Information

The Town and Fire Rescue along with Emergency Services Agencies across the country are monitoring the Coronavirus situation (COVID-19) to protect the public's health.

COVID-19 Fire Rescue Update - 4/2/2020


update icon UPDATE: April 2, 2020

An Update from Town Manager Steve Riley

Your charity is needed. The more COVID-19 disrupts our lives, the more people and agencies in our community are going to depend on the generosity of residents. So I begin today's update with a simple question: Have you supported a charity today? Please consider doing that. There are a number of charities in our community that are helping people who are struggling from loss of work and wages. And as charities assist those individuals, they will need their resources replenished. Additionally there are organizations that provide a wide range of services for residents such as healthcare, mental health, recreation, counseling and youth programs. Many are closed now, but will need support when they re-open.

So I encourage you to consider supporting a charity today!

Update on Coronavirus Cases

130 positive cases of the coronavirus have been reported for Beaufort County, according the latest data from the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control. With the rising number of cases in Beaufort County, I ask that you continue to be cautious and heed DHEC guidelines on protecting yourself. The more we do now to stop spreading the virus, the sooner we can return to our normal lives.

Here are the latest updates on COVID-19 response in our community:

Request to Rental Agencies
Our Town Council passed a resolution early this week asking rental companies to cease taking reservations through the end of April and not advertise for tourists to come to Hilton Head Island at this time. At least a dozen rental companies had already taken a similar step. We appreciate their concern and compassion for our community during this time. We hope others will follow.

Non-Essential Businesses
On Tuesday, South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster issued Executive Order 2020-17, requiring specific businesses, venues, facilities, services, and activities to close effective April 1. We have posted this information to our website and will update it as we receive additional information from the Governor's Office. Businesses and residents with questions on what constitutes a non-essential business should contact the South Carolina Department of Commerce at covid19sc@sccommerce.com or 803-734-2873.

SC LLR Extends Renewal Deadlines During Health Emergency
Effective immediately, the South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (LLR) is extending the license renewal deadline for licenses, registrations, and permits scheduled to renew during the months of April, May, June, July, and August. The new renewal deadline is extended to September 30, 2020. Continuing education requirements may be obtained throughout the entirety of this extended renewal period. Business owners should visit LLR to see if they are affected.

Help4Hope Initiative Launched
The Watterson Family Foundation and the Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce have partnered with a team of local leaders to launch Help4Hope to support our community's families and food-service businesses during the COVID-19 crisis. This initiative will help feed families affected by this crisis, support local restaurants by generating new business and save jobs in the food-service industry. Donors fund community investment cards that trusted community partners (Bluffton Self Help, The Deep Well Project, Campbell Chapel AME Church among others) will begin distributing on April 6 to those affected by this crisis. Receivers can redeem them at participating restaurants of their choice for a family meal for four. Restaurants benefit too by redeeming the cards at the Community Foundation of the Lowcountry for reimbursement. Visit https://www.help4hopenow.org for more information.

Town Projects Still Underway
While the COVID-19 pandemic has changed how we operate, Town staff is still working. Many Town Hall employees are working from home, completing projects and responding to your calls and emails. Other employees are fulfilling responsibilities from their Town Hall offices, while using social distancing protocols. Town Hall is closed to the public, but the staff and Town Council are using virtual meeting platforms to connect with each other and work on projects. With fewer vehicles on the road, contractors are taking advantage of this time to complete road work projects in the Shelter Cove Area, South Forest Beach Drive and Main St. These workers have little interaction with the public and are practicing social distancing at the worksite.

Ways You Can Help During this Crisis

  • Act as though everyone has the virus; stay home as much as can. Find ways to exercise around your home or in your neighborhood, keeping in mind that even then you have to practice social distancing.
  • Donate to your favorite charity.
  • Participate in the Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Take Out Blitz.
  • Show compassion. Call a friend, neighbor or family member to check on them, especially elderly persons who may not have family close by. Stay in touch!
  • Pray for those families and individuals in our community that have been directly affected by this virus.
  • Share good news.
  • Thank a first responder, medical workers, workers in the grocery stores and others in the community who remain on the frontlines to help people during this time.
Visit culturehhi.org or follow culturehhi on Facebook for the latest updates on virtual concerts and other cool and fun activities you can view or do from the comfort of your own home.

Resources

We urge residents to monitor reliable information sources for the latest updates.

  • SC Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (LLR) is extending the license renewal deadline for licenses, registrations, and permits scheduled to renew during the months of April, May, June, July, and August. The new renewal deadline is extended to September 30, 2020. Learn more at https://www.llr.sc.gov/renewalupdates/.

  • SC Governor McMaster issued an executive orderpdf icon giving law enforcement the authority to prohibit or disperse any gatherings of three or more people. View Governor McMaster's statement at https://governor.sc.gov/news/2020-03/gov-henry-mcmaster-issues-executive-order-2020-13.

  • Town Hall is open for business, but our offices are closed to the public until further notice. Our staff is able to conduct business with you over the phone and via email. A searchable staff directory is available at https://www.hiltonheadislandsc.gov/contactus/staffsearch.cfm.

  • Collections of business license fees, local tax, and local hospitality tax are delayed until June 20th. Penalties and late fees for business license renewals are waived through June 20th.

  • Beaches and beach parks are closed through April 30th.

  • All Town parks are closed effective April 1, 2020. Learn more...

  • Tolls have been suspended temporarily on the Cross Island Parkway.

  • The Breeze Trolley Service on Hilton Head Island, which was scheduled to begin service on April 1, has been postponed temporarily.
  • Don't spread rumors. Find out from FEMA what is rumor versus fact related to the coronavirus response.

  • Income tax filing due dates for state and federal taxes have been extended to July 15, 2020. Visit www.IRS.gov for federal information and https://dor.sc.gov/ for state guidelines.

  • All organized recreational activities and activities for which special event permits have been acquired from the Town for use on Town properties are canceled.

Call your personal doctor or healthcare provider for information/instructions.

What if I don't have a personal doctor?

  • If you don't have a primary care physician there are multiple options for telehealth.
  • MUSC Health is providing free telehealth screening. Anyone experiencing symptoms can visit MUSC.care and use the promo code COVID19 and be screened without having to leave your home. You can also call 843-261-5940 with any questions.
  • Prisma Health is offering a free virtual visit at www.prismahealth.org/virtual-visit/. Use with promo code COVID19. You can also call 1-888-921-0348.
  • Beaufort Memorial is offering virtual visits to be screened by a provider who can refer them to a higher level of care, if needed. BMH Care Anywhere is available in the App Store and Google Play, and via https://www.bmhsc.org/services/immediate-care-options/video-visits/ (may have a fee).

Coronavirus Medical Resources pdf icon

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Put distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
  • Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care. Learn what to do if you are sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
  • Throw used tissues in the trash.
  • Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
  • If surfaces are dirty, clean them: Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.


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