Coronavirus Live & Local Updates

Friday, April 17, 2020

Gov. McMaster announced a new executive order yesterday to reopen the state’s public boat ramps today at noon.  Restrooms, piers, docks, and designated fishing banks, as well as public beach access, will remain closed.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

According to DHEC, the cases of the virus is expected to peak in early May.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

As part of the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the CARES Act) becomes available, South Carolinians will now see an extra $600 a week.

Starting April 20th, all transit services (COMET, ReFlex, DART) will be free and operating on a Sunday “level of service,” with added on-demand service for areas not served on the Sunday routes.  (WLTX)

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

S.C. Department of Commerce releases “clarification” list that can re-determine which businesses are essential.  (WLTX)

Monday, April 13, 2020

Gov. McMaster has extended his state of emergency for another 15 days.  All orders remain in effect.

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster said he’ll announce soon the state’s “rejuvenation” and “revitalization” plan to get the economy going again.  (WLTX)

Friday, April 10, 2020

City of Columbia has extended their curfew in response to COVID-19 precautions.  The curfew will continue to be from 11pm until 6am and will last for 61 days.

All WIC services will be available over the phone.

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Many of the national auto insurers are providing a refund of 15 percent to April and May customer bills.  (WLTX)

South Carolina Department of Education launches an online remote learning portal with resources for SC educators, parents and students.  You can find out more information at

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

A curfew for the City of Cayce will begin today.  The curfew will be in effect from 11pm until 5am.

City of Sumter curfew begins tonight.  The curfew will be in effect from 11pm until 5am.

City of Orangeburg announced a curfew that will begin tomorrow night.  It will be in effect from 11pm until 6am.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Gov. McMaster’s new home or work order, that goes in to effect tonight at 5pm, means unless you’re working, visiting family, picking up essential goods or services, or getting exercise outdoors, you could face a misdemeanor 30 days in jail and/or a $100 fine for each day of violation. (WIS)

Monday, April 6, 2020

Gov. McMaster issued a “home or work order,” that essentially puts in place the same restrictions as other states’ stay at home order. (WLTX)

Friday, April 3, 2020

Governor Henry McMaster has expanded his order to close more non-essential businesses, but did not issue a state-at-home order yet.  (WLTX)

Thursday, April 2, 2020

There is a nationwide shortage of trained Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) and paramedic personnel. To help fill the shortage, Midlands Technical College launched a nine month paramedic certification program.  (WLTX)

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

The SC Commission on Higher Education announced refund and credit guidelines for colleges and universities in the state to ensure all students are treated fairly.  (WLTX)

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Some flights cancelled at Columbia Metropolitan Airport due to coronavirus (WLTX)

Town of Irmo operating under “Emergency Protocol” amidst coronavirus outbreak (WLTX)

Senior Resources free meals location change 

As of March 31, there has been two location changes for Senior Resources and their Emergency Senior Nutrition Program distribution schedule.  Senior Resources will distribute meals at Dent Middle School instead of the Richland Library Northeast branch and Trinity United Methodist Church instead of the Richland Library Blythewood branch on Wednesday.

Monday, March 30, 2020

SC Governor orders public access to all beaches closed as well as has closing all public boat ramps, landings and other access points on the state’s lakes, rivers and waterways (WLTX)

Virtual church services become the new normal (WLTX)

President Donald Trump extended the voluntary national shutdown until April 30th, as the coronavirus pandemic rises in the U.S.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Columbia’s Stay-at-Home order now in effect.  A citywide stay-at-home order is now in effect in Columbia, the order went into effect at 12:01 a.m. Sunday morning. (WLTX)

South Carolina’s health agency reported 113 new cases and 1 new death from the coronavirus outbreak Sunday.  The numbers bring the total number of cases to 773 and the number of deaths to 16.  (WLTX)

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Prisma Health announces furlough during coronavirus crisis.  They don’t know how long the furlough will last, and it impacts administrative, corporate and clinical employees.  (WLTX)

Friday, March 27, 2020

SC REAL ID deadline moved to 2021 due to coronavirus.  The deadline to get a South Carolina REAL ID has been moved to October, 2021.  (WLTX)

South Carolina Attorney General, Alan Wilson, says local governments don’t have the authority to issue their own stay-at-home orders.  (WLTX)

Gov. McMaster has issued a mandatory quarantine for anyone coming into the state from a COVID-19 hotspot.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Myrtle Beach says visitors must leave by Sunday.  Additionally, all short-term accommodations -hotel, motel, AirBnBs, have been ordered to not accept any new reservations beginning Saturday, March 28, and continuing through April 30, 2020.  (WLTX)

Columbia approves stay-at-home order for all residents.  Council approved the measure Thursday afternoon on a remote meeting. The ordinance goes into effect this Sunday, March 29, at 12:01 a.m. It’s set to expire in 14 days.  (WLTX)

Richland County offices are closed to the public until further notice as the community deals with the global outbreak of COVID-19, or coronavirus, but many County services remain accessible.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Prisma Health device to help extend ventilators.  The new device allows a single ventilator to support up to four patients during times of acute equipment shortages such as the current COVID-19 pandemic (WLTX)

Columbia to consider stay-at-home order for all residents.  Columbia City Council will consider a stay-at-home order for all residents when it meets Thursday. (WLTX)

University of South Carolina announces tentative date for graduation.  The university has now set tentative graduation dates of August 7 and August 8, according to Jeff Stensland, chief communications officer for USC.

DHEC: 424 coronavirus cases statewide, projects 8,000 cases by May.  The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) said it is now investigating 82 additional cases of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus. This brings the total number statewide to 424 cases in 39 counties.  And for they first time, they project into the future, saying there could be 8,000 cases by May. (WLTX)

Long’s Drugs shuts down, CVS takes over.  This isn’t directly tied to the coronavirus, but as people look to essential services such as pharmacies, this is important to pass along.  Long’s Drugs has shut down nearly all Midlands locations. The company explained that customers prescriptions will now be handled by CVS.

Riverbanks Zoo closed through April.  The zoo said in a statement it is following guidelines from state and federal leaders to encourage social distancing and help slow the spread of coronavirus in the community.

South Carolina state income taxes now due on July 15, 2020.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

All of South Carolina’s public schools will be shut down through the end of April, Governor Henry McMaster and South Carolina Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman said Tuesday. (WLTX)

City of Charleston orders shelter at home for 14 days.

Monday, March 23, 2020

With an executive order issued Monday, McMaster directed law enforcement across the state to disperse gatherings of three or more people in public.  Officers can use the order as they see fit, after determining if the gathering threatens public health, the governor said.  This does not affect people in law-abiding businesses, McMaster said. It also doesn’t affect families who may be on outings.

State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman and the S.C. Department of Education (SCDE) have received notice that the U.S. Department of Education has approved the agency’s assessment and accountability suspension waiver that was submitted as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.  For spring 2020, South Carolina will not administer any of the following assessment programs:

  • SC READY (English language arts and mathematics in grades 3–8);
  • SCPASS (science in grades 4 and 6);
  • End-of-Course Examination Program (English, Algebra, Biology, United States History and the Constitution) the requirement that these examinations count 20 percent has been waived;
  • Prekindergarten assessments; and
  • Alternate Assessments

Mission Lexington has an open food pantry and donation center. Their hours are Monday through Friday from 10am-1pm.  If you are in need of food, they ask that you drive to the back of their building and remain in your car, where you will be greeted by a staff member who will assist you. They are only distributing pre-packed food and they will need to see your drivers license for service.  Click here for more information.

Friday, March 20, 2020

The COMET started operating on a Saturday schedule. The COMET will remain operational for essential travel and riders are asked to observe social distancing practices. These changes will be in effect through April 10th, with periodic reevaluation as more information becomes available.  Essential travel is considered going out for necessary services or supplies, travel for medical reasons and to care for the elderly, minors and people with disabilities. It also includes travel to work for those individuals providing support services in critical need areas or providing other necessary functions.
University of South Carolina postpones May commencement ceremonies.  May commencement ceremonies on all USC campuses have been postponed due to the coronavirus, according to the University of South Carolina.  The university also announced they’re extending remote learning for students through the remainder of the Spring semester.

Lexington Medical Center restricts visitors, takes precautions.  Beginning 9 a.m. on Friday, visitors are no longer allowed in Lexington Medical Center facilities.  In addition, effective Monday, March 23, Lexington Medical Center’s ambulatory surgery centers at Lexington Medical Center Lexington and Lexington Medical Center Irmo will be closed. The Urgent Cares at those locations will remain open.  (WLTX)

Chapin issues state of emergency.  The Mayor of Chapin has issued a State of Emergency Proclamation. For more information on COVID-19 and the Town of Chapin, click here.

Drive thru testing available in Sumter.  Prisma Health has added a drive-through coronavirus testing site in Sumter.  The tests will be performed at the hospital’s Calhoun Street/Day Surgery entrance, address, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday–Friday.

Emergency senior nutrition meal distribution and program information. Senior Resources has our emergency plan in place to cover all normal clients currently enrolled in our Meals on Wheels program, and we are now implementing an emergency senior nutrition program to cover all senior citizens in Richland County during the COVID-19 crisis.  Effective Monday, March 23, Senior Resources will be providing any senior citizen in Richland County five free meals per week, at a first come, first serve basis, at four locations throughout the county.  Drive thru service will be offered for meal pick-up from 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.  Find out more info by clicking here.

Please email if you have more information that needs to be updated!