North Myrtle Beach sign

North Myrtle Beach's new sign at the Main Street Connector and Highway 17. Photo by Christian Boschult 

North Myrtle Beach adopted an "emergency declaration," during its Monday night council meeting in response to COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control on Sunday announced three cases of COVID-19 in Horry County. The statewide total Monday was 33.

The city said the declaration will allow it "to be able to respond to COVID-19 related issues as they may arise locally, and it positions the city to qualify for state or federal reimbursements that may be provided to help reduce the impact that COVID-19 related expenditures may have on the city's budget."

City Manager Mike Mahaney said the resolution would make sure the city got their "fair share" of federal money.

"I think that we all need to take a deep breath," said Mayor Marilyn Hatley. "We need to enjoy our privacy more and we need to have common sense in what we do; washing our hands, covering our mouth when we cough or sneeze and not shaking hands and that type of thing. This, too, shall pass."

The city announced Sunday that its public parks, recreation centers and its Aquatic and Fitness Center will remain open, and the frequency of cleaning has been increased, although they announced an end to spring youth sports on Monday.

Members of the Aquatic and Fitness Center who don't feel comfortable going there during the COVID-19 outbreak can freeze their membership, the city said. There won't be a charge to reinstate the membership.

The city said all other services will remain on schedule, while sanitation services may increase on some routes. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending people practice social distancing, restrict their travel and avoid large gatherings to slow the spread of the virus.

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