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The city of Myrtle Beach joined other local governments in declaring a state of emergency due to concerns over the coronavirus.

Horry County Government, Conway and Surfside Beach have issued similar proclamations.

On Sunday morning, Grand Strand Medical Center confirmed that a patient at the hospital had tested positive for COVID-19, a disease caused by the virus. It was the first coronavirus case in the county. So far, 28 cases have been confirmed statewide, including three in Horry.

Myrtle Beach Mayor Brenda Bethune said Horry County schools being closed for the rest of the month is “going to change the way we now have to react and the things we’ll put into place.”

Senior staff members and the city's emergency management team met through a conference call to assess the situation, reviewing Myrtle Beach’s pandemic plan and going over the next steps moving forward.

The city is monitoring the situation and has been in contact with hospitals and state and county officials as well as the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control and Centers for Disease Control.

Myrtle Beach officials will meet at 8 a.m. Monday to further discuss the matter and receive an update on the situation. They will talk about steps that would better help community members, particularly those such as the elderly, Bethune said.

Officials will also speak to the city’s department heads and will discuss any decisions that must be made regarding Myrtle Beach's staff members.

City offices and facilities including recreation centers and Chapin Memorial Library will be closed to the public starting on Monday, according to a news release from the city of Myrtle Beach.

City meetings and city-related events scheduled for the coming week will be postponed. Municipal Court, including the new Quality of Life Court, is also being rescheduled.

Solid waste services will operate normally this week.

Starting on Monday, city staff will use disinfectant to wipe down high-contact public counters and entry door handles every half-hour.

Myrtle Beach 911 dispatchers are pre-screening emergency calls to determine if any respiratory distress is involved.


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