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City of Camden to impose curfew in response to virus

The curfew goes into effect Thursday March 19 and will be from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.

CAMDEN, S.C. — The city of Camden has announced a curfew to begin on Thursday March 19, 2020.

Camden Mayor Alfred Mae Drakeford has declared a state of public emergency related to the spread of COVID-19 in the city and is proclaiming a citywide curfew from 10:00 pm to 5:00 am, effective Thursday, March 19, 2020.

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The mayor said the curfew will include exceptions for police officers, firefighters, emergency services personnel, doctors, nurses, health-care providers, persons traveling to or from work, and those with life-threatening conditions who require medical assistance.

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Here are other emergency procedures the City of Camden is doing:

  • The city of Camden has closed all its facilities, excluding city hall and the Camden Police Department headquarters, to the public until further notice.
  • Public access to city hall will be restricted to the south entrance, nearest the Finance Department.
  •  All other entrances to city hall will be locked. 
  • All city business with the clerk's office, court, and building department can be handled at the finance department. Residents are encouraged to call city hall at 803-432-2421 prior to visiting, to see if staff can assist you over the phone.
  • The city of Camden utility and sanitation operations will be maintained and serviced as normal, however contact with the public will be restricted. 
  • The city will suspend the normal disconnect for non-pay procedures until further notice. 
  • Residents are encouraged to use the city’s online bill pay for existing utility bills, as well as the drive-thru window and drop boxes in the parking entrance and just outside the Finance Department entrance at City Hall, where payments will be accepted 24 hours a day. 
  • The finance department will also accept payments by check over the phone until further notice. 
  • Public access to the Police Department will be restricted to the front lobby. Fingerprinting services have been suspended until further notice. 
  • The Camden Fire Department will suspend nonessential services and programs until further notice. Residents with specific needs or concerns may call the Fire Department at 803-425-6040.
  • Municipal court has been suspended through April 1st. Preliminary court hearings for March 26th have also been canceled. Essential functions will be carried out, however roll call and traffic court appearances have been canceled. 
  • Conditions are being monitored to determine the schedule for future cases.

What is the Coronavirus? 

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more serious diseases such as pneumonia. DHEC is working with CDC to identify all those who might have been in contact with these individuals. These people will be monitored for fever and respiratory symptoms.

People can help to prevent the spread of the virus in the following ways:

  • wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after using the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. And, always wash your hands with soap and water if they are visibly dirty.
  • avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • stay home when you’re sick.
  • cough or sneeze into your elbow or use a tissue and put it in the trash immediately.
  • clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • get the influenza vaccine.

For general questions about COVID-19 residents should visit the DHEC website at scdhec.gov/COVID19 or the CDC website here.

For residents concerned about their own personal health or are showing symptoms such as fever, cough or shortness of breath, please call your personal doctor or healthcare provider. DHEC has launched its Care Line. If residents have general questions about COVID-19, the DHEC Care Line is here to help. Call 1-855-472-3432. Staff are answering calls from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Call volume has been high. Callers are urged to be patient if they receive a busy signal and try their call at a later time.