Berkeley County COVID-19 Update March 16th

Update March 17th

MONCKS CORNER, S.C.– (Tuesday March 17, 2020) — Berkeley County Council has issued a State of Emergency declaration in response to the local threat of novel coronavirus, officially called COVID-19. Council met for a special-called emergency meeting at 12:15 p.m. on Tuesday, March 17. The declaration was necessary for Berkeley County to implement emergency planning for anticipated problems and prepare for emergency actions needed to confront the challenges of COVID-19. The resolution can be found HERE.

Berkeley County Emergency Management moved OPCON Level 2 at the Council Meeting. This means a disaster or emergency is likely to impact the County and there is enhanced awareness. Berkeley County Emergency Management continues to coordinate plans with its partners at the local, state and national levels.

Berkeley County officials continue to encourage citizens to take precautions to limit the spread of the virus. Public health officials also continue to advise proper preventative measures that have been issued by DHEC and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to stay healthy and help limit the spread of the virus.

Berkeley County has closed a majority of its buildings and facilities to the public. All Berkeley County updates can be found on the Berkeley County website under “Coronavirus COVID-19 latest.” A full list of County Closures can be found HERE. Also, follow related updates on the County’s Facebook and Twitter pages.

Update March 16th

Closing County Buildings & Facilities to the Public, Employees to Still Report to Work

 MONCKS CORNER, S.C.- (Monday, March 16)- Berkeley County leadership has met with county directors and elected officials throughout the day to develop a plan for County operations in response to COVID-19 (novel coronavirus). Berkeley County has explored opportunities for work to be done online and is closing County buildings and facilities to the public, effective Tuesday, March 17. County employees are still to report to work. There are currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Berkeley County, and Berkeley County leaders are working to limit the spread of the virus while safely maintaining County operations. County leaders are canceling many public meetings, public events, and moving several meetings to phone or video conferences. All Berkeley County updates will be posted on the Berkeley County website under “Coronavirus COVID-19 latest.” Also follow Berkeley County on Facebook and Twitter for related updates.

Berkeley County Council will hold an emergency called Council meeting on Tuesday, March 17 at 12:15 p.m. to discuss a State of Emergency Resolution. That notice can be found HERE.

Starting March 17 County departments will operate as follows. County employees are still to report to work.

  • Berkeley County Library Locations: CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE
  • Cypress Gardens: CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE
    • All school field trips have been canceled
  • Berkeley County Administration Building: CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE, payments accepted online. This closure includes the following departments.
    • Auditor’s Office- Allowing drop-offs at secure box located outside
    • Treasurer’s Office- Allowing drop-offs at secure box located outside
    • Delinquent Tax- Allowing drop-offs at secure box located outside
    • Register of Deeds- Drop-offs accepted at box at table in the entrance of the lobby
    • Real Property Services- Drop-offs accepted at box at table in the entrance of the lobby
    • Permitting and Codes- Drop-offs accepted at box at table in the entrance of the lobby
    • Planning and Zoning- Drop-offs accepted at box at table in the entrance of the lobby
    • Economic Development
    • GIS
    • Finance
    • Human Resources
    • Supervisor’s Office
  • The Berkeley County Courthouse, at 300B California Avenue, Moncks Corner, will be CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC beginning March 17, 2020, until further notice.
    • Jurors summoned for the week of March 23-27, 2020, are EXCUSED and should not appear for juror service.
    • Summary Court: bond hearings will be conducted at least once a day
    • General Sessions Court: will be handling guilty pleas for the local jail on Monday and a half-day on Tuesday, upon Judge’s approval
    • Family Court: will be hearing ONLY emergencies and statutory mandated hearings: domestic abuse, DSS probable cause; juvenile detention and bench warrant hearings
    • CSE Admin Rules will proceed as scheduled on Wednesday with DSS Attorney LeBarron in the Jury Panel room.
    • Probate Court: closed to the public; marriage license may be picked up at the Family Court Drive-thru on Jail Street behind the Courthouse
  • Magistrate Court: Rescheduled all jury trials and traffic court. People can pay online. Bond court and evictions will continue. Those with restraining orders will still be processed.
  • Berkeley County Airport: To remain open
  • Berkeley County Animal Center: To remain open, no longer accepting owner turn-ins
    • No longer allowing children volunteers at the shelter
    • All animal adoption events have been CANCELED
  • Voter Registration & Election Commission – Candidate filing opened at noon on March 16, 2020 and will close at noon on March 30, 2020.  All partisan candidates seeking office in the November 3, 2020 General Election must file during this period.  Any candidate that would like to make an appointment for filing can call the office at 843-719-4056 beginning tomorrow, March 17, at 9 a.m. or email webvre@berkeleycountysc.gov.
  • Berkeley County Water & Sanitation (BCWS)- The lobby of the BCWS building will be CLOSED to the public until further notice.
    • BCWS is suspending water cut-offs and is turning on water to customers that was previously turned-off due to non-payment.
  • Berkeley County Landfills and Convenience Centers: To remain open
  • Berkeley County Roads & Bridges: CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE
  • Mosquito Abatement: CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE
  • Veteran Affairs: CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE
  • Coroner’s Office: CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE

Please note the following adjustments to County events and meetings:

  • Red Cross Blood Drive scheduled Tuesday, March 17- CANCELED
  • Board of Zoning Appeals scheduled Tuesday, March 17- CANCELED
  • ManuFirstSC classes scheduled March 14- April 2 – POSTPONED, TO BE RESCHEDULED
  • Vendor Fair scheduled April 23- CANCELED
  • Job Fair scheduled March 31- POSTPONED, TO BE RESCHEDULED
  • Cypress Gardens Events
    • Second Oyster Shell Craft Classes scheduled March 21 & 22- CANCELED
    • K9 Egg-Stravaganza scheduled April 5- CANCELED

County employees will continue to work on regular schedule, if you have any questions please reach out to the respective departments. Those phone numbers and email addresses can be found here: http://berkeleycountysc.gov/

On Sunday, March 15, South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster ordered school closures around the state. Schools will remain closed through the end of March. More info HERE. President Donald Trump declared the COVID-19 pandemic a national emergency on Friday, March 13. Governor McMaster declared a state of emergency throughout South Carolina on Friday, March 13 to allow the state to respond to current and future COVID-19 impacts.

Berkeley County officials continue to encourage citizens to take precautions and limit the spread of the virus. Public health officials also continue to advise proper preventative measures that have been issued by DHEC and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to stay healthy and help limit the spread of the virus.

Berkeley County 911 has updated its call-taking software to include the Emergency Infectious Disease Surveyance Tool, a screening resource to identify individuals who may be experiencing coronavirus symptoms.

DHEC has also set up a Care Line for public inquiries about the virus. The number is 1-855-472-3432 and is available from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays.

MUSC is offering FREE health virtual care screenings. You can call 843-792-7000 for more information, or visit https://muschealth.org/patients-visitors/coronavirus-information. Additionally, patients who use MUSC Health Virtual Urgent Care are offered access to drive-through respiratory specimen collection site for COVID-19 testing.

Roper Hospital is also offering free virtual screenings from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. https://www.rsfh.com/virtualcare/