Like all other cities, counties and states across America, Loris is taking extreme measures to help control the spread of coronavirus, also called Covid-19.
Mayor Todd Harrelson said an emergency declaration was passed during a brief special city council meeting that took place this past week.
The purpose of the declaration is so the city can 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.
The declaration will remain in effect for 50 days unless sooner terminated by resolution by city council.
“By declaring a state of emergency, it allows local government to mobilize resources, to better monitor the virus, to strengthen our ability to respond and assist, and to proactively take measures to protect our residents and visitors,” the declaration states.
The measure allows the mayor and council to close certain facilities and modify employee work plans to slow the spread of the disease and reduce the number of cases.
The staff has implemented a plan to continue the business of the city by limiting personal contact and potential exposure.
All City of Loris buildings -- including the parks, recreation and tourism offices -- are closed to the public.
The City of Loris Municipal Court has postponed this week’s court date until April 13. The Court date scheduled for March 26 has been postponed until April 16.
In a conversation with the Loris Scene this week, Mayor Harrelson said as of right now the next Loris City Council meeting -- scheduled for April 6 -- will take place. However, he said, it will likely be closed to the public.
Harrelson said the meeting will be live streamed on the city’s Facebook page.
If possible, some city workers have been working from home, the mayor said. For example, interim City Administrator Dennis Drozdak has been updating the city’s audits from his home.
Harrelson said any documents Drozdak needs are scanned by a city worker and are sent to him by email.
Harrelson also said the city is also following the order handed down by Gov. Henry McMaster and no one’s water or sewer is being disconnected if they are behind on payments.
There is a dropbox outside of the Public Safety Building for Water/Sewer payments. Do not put cash in the dropbox. If you have questions, call 843-756-4004.
Harrelson also noted the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control has established an information phone number staffed by SCDHEC nurses for people who are concerned about an underlying health condition or who think they may be coming down with a flu-like illness. The phone number is (855) 472-3432.