COLUMBIA, S.C. — A place for you to find the latest updates regarding cancellations, postponements and updates for the coronavirus in the Midlands.
Hospital and extended care facilities
Midlands area health care facilities have begun enacting visitation restrictions.
Prisma Health: As a precaution to safeguard its patients and team members against potential COVID-19 exposure, Prisma Health is adding additional visitor restrictions, including screening questions, for all visitors entering hospitals. The change will roll out Monday, March 16, at all Prisma Health hospital and long term care facilities, including:
- · Prisma Health Baptist Easley Hospital, Easley
- · Prisma Health Baptist Hospital, Columbia
- · Prisma Health Baptist Parkridge Hospital, Columbia
- · Prisma Health Children’s Hospital-Midlands, Columbia
- · Prisma Health Children’s Hospital-Upstate, Greenville
- · Prisma Health Greenville Memorial Hospital (GMH), Greenville
- · Prisma Health Greer Memorial Hospital, Greer
- · Prisma Health Heart Hospital, Columbia
- · Prisma Health Hillcrest Hospital, Simpsonville
- · Prisma Health Laurens County Hospital, Laurens
- · Prisma Health Lila Doyle, Seneca
- · Prisma Health North Greenville Hospital, Travelers Rest
- · Prisma Health Oconee Memorial Hospital, Seneca
- · Prisma Health Patewood Hospital, Greenville
- · Prisma Health Richland Hospital, Columbia
- · Prisma Health Tuomey Hospital, Sumter
Further visitation restrictions may be enacted by select areas, and additional facility-wide measures may be implemented in the future.
Community members are asked to follow these steps when coming to visit a Prisma Health facility:
- · Check in at the main entrance, other designated entrance or Emergency Department
- entrance. Other doors may be locked. Signs will direct visitors to the open entrances.
- · Only one visitor per patient will be permitted.
- · Visitors will be asked questions to determine if they’ve had fever, cough, sore throat, body aches or nasal congestion in the past 24 hours. Your temperature will be taken. Visitors will also be asked about travel outside the country or exposure to a person testing positive with COVID-19.
- · Visitors with those symptoms will be asked to go home and return when they are symptom free.
- · Children less than 18 years of age will not be permitted to visit a patient in any hospital, except with approval by the patient’s physician.
For Prisma Health Children’s Hospital (Midlands and Upstate), visitors are limited to parents only. In the absence of one or both parents, one designated caregiver will be allowed to visit the patient. All visitors must be 18 years of age or older.
Under guidance of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Prisma Health Lila Doyle is unable to allow any family members, visitors, or non-essential personnel to visit residents at Lila Doyle. Visitation will only be allowed with special circumstances, for example end-of-life care.
As an extra precaution, Prisma Health is enacting additional practices at this time:
- · Prisma Health Children’s Hospital – in both the Midlands and Upstate – is temporarily discontinuing visitation by community groups.
- · Prisma Health is temporarily pausing volunteer service on its inpatient units, emergency departments and in other areas where volunteers have patient contact. Volunteers may be reassigned to non-patient areas.
- · Prisma Health is temporarily pausing unnecessary vendor activity in its facilities and ambulatory offices. Essential pharmaceutical and medical device representatives will be screened and allowed into facilities for specific functions. Product sales and personal food delivery vendors are restricted from entering. Each hospital is establishing a site for flower delivery and Prisma Health team members will deliver flowers within the building to patients.
For more information about COVID-19 and Prisma Health’s continued response, visit PrismaHealth.org/coronavirus/.
McLeod Health: Visitors will be limited to no more than two guests over the age of 14 during normal visitation hours. Children aged 14 and under cannot visit at this time. All visitors exhibiting signs or symptoms of illness (fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, runny nose) will be asked not to visit patients at McLeod Health.
Monday, March 16
City of Columbia Parks and Recreation Department: parks and after school programs are canceled until further notice. See the list here
Richland County Recreation Commission has postponed in-house and community-run athletic leagues and closed all RCRC Fitness Rooms. After School All Star programs have been suspended through April 3 at Blythewood Park, Coughman Road Park, Forest Lake Park, North Springs Park and Polo Road Park.
The 51st Annual Cottontail Festival at Kelly Mills Sports Complex and thw Gadsden Park Community Center Farm Festival have been postponed.
Richland Library: All locations are closed until further notice. The library has extended loan periods during this time, so you do not need to return materials until the library is back in full operation. Library WiFi will remain on and digital resources -- eBooks, eAudiobooks, eMagazines, music, movies and TV shows, Homework Help (via Tutor.com) and more -- are available for download.
Riverbanks Zoo and Garden Closes for two weeks.
West Columbia Amphitheater and Riverwalk Park will be temporarily closed. Repairs will be made to damages from the February 2020 flooding.
Sunday, March 15
10:25 pm USC women's basketball coach Dawn Staley has some tips to avoid the coronavirus.
9:34 pm City of Columbia Police and Fire department to modify some operations:
At the direction of Columbia Police Chief William ‘Skip’ Holbrook, the following modifications will go into effect on Monday, March 16, 2020.
Columbia police will:
All emergency calls will be handled following normal operational protocols.
Police Headquarters lobby will be closed to the public. Citizens will be redirected or screened by staff via intercom and telephone at the main entrance.
Police Region offices will be closed to the public. Region staff will triage citizen walk ups and address appropriately on case by case basis.
Police response will be limited to emergency/in-progress calls.
Non-emergency calls will be handled by phone.
Non-emergency police reports will be completed over the phone or online.
Property checks will be expanded to include any closed businesses or businesses with modified hours of operation. Business owners should contact the PD at 803-545-3500 if they would like to be added to the property check list.
All external CPD community meetings and events have been postponed until further notice.
At the direction of Columbia Fire Chief Aubrey D. Jenkins, the following modifications will go into effect on Monday, March 16, 2020.
Columbia fire will:
- Respond only to medical calls of an acute nature (heart attacks, not breathing)
- Wear additional personal protective gear during medical response calls
- Eliminate public access to fire stations for non-emergency matters and visitors will be limited to the truck bays whenever possible
- Requested Fire reports will be emailed as requested
- Postpone public demos and public safety educational events
All reading programs at schools have been cancelled until further notice
The “Fill the Boot Campaign” for the MDA will be postponed
- Coordinate response protocol for COVID-19 patients with EMS and hospitals
9:17 pm Riverbanks Zoo and Garden to close for two weeks to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.
8:43 pm A word from the CDC.
8:26 pm City of Columbia park facilities and after school programs are canceled until further notice.
Here's how districts are going to feed students as Gov. McMaster closes schools till the end of the month.
Richland Library to close all locations starting on March 16 in the interest of public safety.
Richland One announces free meals for students during closure. Richland One will provide free breakfast and lunch for students while school is closed. Click on the story to see detailed information on pick up locations.
Newberry Opera House (NOH) postpones performances beginning Sunday, March 15, through the end of the month.
The NOH is currently working to confirm dates for postponed performances and will announce dates soon as possible. All guests with tickets for postponed shows will be contacted. Please check your email. Updates will also be posted on the NOH website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages. If you have concerns, please email BoxOffice@NewberryOperaHouse.com. Box office hours moving forward will be Monday thru Friday from 9:30 A.M. to 5:30 P.M., closed Saturday and Sunday until further notice
Tillis Center cancels events through April 3.
Richland Library is taking precautionary steps but there are no plans to close library locations at this time. In a press release, library administrators are:
- modifying one of the library's Outreach services, knows as Books to You. The program enables individuals, who aren't able to physically visit a library location, to request monthly visits where library staff or volunteers bring books to private residences or group homes.
- evaluating programs and gatherings on a case-by-case basis to align with the CDC's social distancing guidelines. As the library begins to cancel or reschedule larger programs, customers can view updates at richlandlibrary.com.
- removing all toys - which include stuffed animals, Legos and kits - from the Children's Areas of all library locations.
In addition to routine environmental cleaning of library buildings, library staff are using disinfectants to wipe down commonly-used surfaces (door handles; books; keyboards; equipment; office supplies; etc.) Richland Library is also advising customers to practice good hygiene and avoid touching their faces after handling library materials. Hand sanitizing stations are available at every library location.
South Carolina's Price Gouging Law went into effect Friday, March 13, after Gov. McMaster declared a state of emergency. The law (SC §39-5-145) states it is unlawful to “rent or sell or offer to rent or sell a commodity at an unconscionable price.” The law remains in effect until the declaration expires or is terminated.
If you feel like you are the victim of price gouging there are certain steps that you can take to help the Attorney General's office to investigate. Please do the following:
- Note the time, place, address, and name of the business
- Note the price you paid
- Note any prices nearby and get the same information on those businesses
- Take pictures that identify the business, along with the price
- Provide your name and contact information
Please email any examples or documentation to email@example.com or call 803-737-3953 and leave a message if you have witnessed a likely violation.
Anyone found to have violated the state’s price gouging law is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be punished by a fine of up to $1,000, up to 30 days in jail, or both.
Saturday, March 14
Historic Columbia temporarily closes house museums
Historic Columbia, in consultation with City of Columbia and Richland County, has decided to close visitation until further notice to its historic house museums, including Robert Mills House, Hampton-Preston Mansion, the Museum of Reconstruction at Woodrow Wilson Family Home, and the Mann-Simons Site.
Private events will be given the option to continue with additional cleaning and food services, but house museums and gardens are not open to visitors, and any schedules group visits are canceled.
Friday, March 13
Newberry College cancels classes
From March 16 through March 18, classes will be canceled as campus prepares a transition to virtual learning, with classes convening online from March 19 through April 3. The College will make a decision regarding plans moving forward by March 31 at 4 p.m., based on how the situation unfolds.
Students will hear from professors regarding the specifics of each course’s remote operation. All online classes already scheduled will continue as normal.
Residential students, in consultation with the Office of Residence Life, may elect to go home if they are able to do so safely, and if doing so would not impede their ability to fulfill their academic responsibilities. In any event, residence halls, dining, academic support, and other limited services will be open and available for those who remain.
Cirque du Soleil: Crystal cancels Columbia engagement
All ticket holders for the canceled Crystal shows will be contacted by their point of sale regarding the refund process. Refunds will be available beginning 9 a.m. Tuesday, March 17. Customers who purchased through Ticketmaster.com or the Ticketmaster App must request their refund through Ticketmaster. Ticketmaster Customer Service Phone Number: 800-653-8000.
Customers who purchased at the Arena Box Office must come to the Box Office with all of their tickets, as well as their credit/debit card and photo ID and the refund will be issued to the original method of payment. If tickets were purchased with cash, a cash refund will be issued. If tickets were purchased with a credit/debit card, the refund will be issued to the credit/debit card. Refunds can be done at the Box Office beginning Tuesday, March 17 during normal business hours Monday – Friday 9 AM to 5 PM.
The Masters golf tournament has been postponed
In a news release, the Chairman of Augusta National Golf Club said that the ever-increasing risk of the Coronavirus have led them to postpone The Masters tournament, The Women's Amateur and the Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals.
Midlands Technical College is canceling classes for next week
In an email to students, the college president Ronald Rhames says they are pausing all instruction the week of March 16-20 to allow the college to begin short and long term plans.
Lancaster, Kershaw county schools ordered closed
Gov. Henry McMaster ordered the two districts' schools closed for a period of 14 days, citing the fact that those counties are the only areas in the state in which there is evidence of community spread of COVID-19.
Richland School District One is suspending staff travel and student field trips
The school district says its taken several actions as a precaution, although they are not aware of any COVID-19 cases within the district. Actions include suspending student internships and other field experiences at nursing homes and medical facilities, as well as restricting visitor and volunteer access to schools.
Sumter School Distirct is also suspending staff travel and student field trips
The district says the decision was a difficult one to make, but a proactive measure to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19.
Carowinds Amusemant Park will postpone its season opening day until April 3
In a press release posted to their website, park owners say that while there have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at their properties, they believe this is the right decision for their guests, associates and community.
Lexington Co. Blowfish Shamrock Parade is postponed
The parade had been scheduled for Saturday, March 14.
Newberry Irish Fling's City Supported Activities have been canceled
The City of Newberry is pulling it's staff support from this weekend's Irish Fling and canceling activities conducted by the City. The cancellations include the Kids Corner, Leprechaun Scavenger Hunt, Live Music at Community Hall and the ID station. Roads will also remain open.
Columbia International Festival is postponed
The event was to happen on April 4 and 5 at the State Fairgrounds but has been postponed. From the event organizers, "Public health is the primary concern, as we express solidarity with City and university officials who are cancelling public events to protect Carolinians from the spreading coronavirus. A new date was not announced. "
Arts Center of Kershaw County cancels all performances, classes and events through March
The center is following CDC recommendations, according to a press release.
Thursday, March 12
South Carolina for ED cancels rally for March 24
9:12 pm Universal Orlando closing its theme park
Universal says the closure is coming out of an abundance of caution to help stop the spread of COVID-19. It will most likely be closing from March 15-through the end of March. The park will then evaluate the situation.
Universal Orlando's hotel and Universal CityWalk will remain open.
8:41 pm Disney closes all theme parks
Disney shutting down ALL theme parks worldwide. Walt Disney World and Disney Paris to close Sunday. Disney Cruise Line canceling new departures.
8:28 pm 2020 Shamrock Parade is canceled
7:56 pm South Carolina Department of Corrections changes
SCDC understands the value of family visits and volunteer programs, but measures must be put in place to ensure everyone’s health and safety.
We apologize for the inconvenience, but the following measures are in place for the next 30 days:
- Visitation is suspended statewide;
- Volunteers from Kershaw County will not be allowed entrance into any institution;
- SCDC work crews will not go out from Wateree Farm Correctional Institution, which is located in both Kershaw and Sumter counties.
7:53 pm Fort Jackson cancels weekly in-person graduation ceremony
Fort Jackson leadership announced that basic combat training family days and graduations for the foreseeable future are cancelled. This includes next week’s events for 2nd Battalion, 13th Infantry Regiment on March 19, which family members will not be able to attend in person. The ceremony will still be held, and it will be live streamed on the Fort Jackson Facebook page so that family and friends can view the ceremony.
7:15 pm USO temporarily suspending airport locations over virus
USO plans to temporarily suspend operations at all USO Airport Centers in the United States by Friday, March 13, 2020 until further notice in order to maintain safe environments and avoid unnecessary risks of exposure due to the spread of coronavirus.
USO airport locations will continue to support military requests for large military personnel movements through airports and provide essential services in consultation with local military leadership.
6:45pm Cancellation of Richland Library 'Beauty and the Beast'
To ensure the safety of staff and customers, Richland Library is canceling 'Beauty and the Beast', in partnership with the Columbia City Ballet, from 3 - 4:30 p.m., Sunday, March 15 at our Sandhills location (763 Fashion Drive).
6:29 PM If you are planning a trip to D.C. to visit museums, etc.
As a public health precaution due to COVID-19 (coronavirus), all Smithsonian museums in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area and New York City, including the National Zoo, will temporarily close to the public starting Saturday, March 14.
We are not announcing a re-opening date at this time and will provide updates on a week-to-week basis on social media and our websites
5:55 pm Update for Lexington County General session first and second appearances cancelled
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Lexington County General Sessions Court (Criminal Court) has made the following changes:
General Sessions First Appearance scheduled for April 2, 2020, is cancelled. The new First Appearance date is May 7, 2020, at 2:00 p.m. in the Fourth Floor Courtroom of the Lexington County Marc H. Westbrook Judicial Center located at 205 E. Main Street, Lexington.
General Sessions Second Appearance scheduled for April 3, 2020, is cancelled. The new Second Appearance date is Friday, May 8, 2020, at 2:00 p.m. in the Fourth Floor Courtroom of the Lexington County Marc H. Westbrook Judicial Center located at 205 E. Main Street, Lexington.
Please continue to check the Eleventh Circuit Solicitor’s website
5:51 PM Richland County Judicial Center changes
Following is a brief statement from County Administrator Leonardo Brown in reference to the Richland County Judicial Center:
“Out of an abundance of caution, and in communication with court Administration, a decision has been made to temporarily restrict access to the Judicial Center due to possible concerns of indirect exposure to the coronavirus.
“Though CDC guidelines caution against close contact, the restricted access is a precautionary measure to expedite cleaning of the facility.”
5:49 PM Was to help keep you avoid the coronavirus
5:36 PM Cancellation of 30 March 2020 "First US Army Mass Parachute Drop" Commemoration
With regret, due to the recent local and national developments, we must cancel the 77th Anniversary/Commemoration that was to have been held on 30 March 2020. Please pass along to those you may know.
I will personally be there on the 29th of March at 2:00 pm to remember and place some flowers.
Your help in this matter will be appreciated.
4:45 pm Soda City
4:43 pm Disneyland
Disneyland will close theme parks for rest of month amid coronavirus fears.
4:41 pm Saint Leo University in Sumter, SC
Saint Leo University to Move Classes Online to Avoid Spread of COVID19
Education Centers Move to Online-Only Classes on March 16
Residential Students are to Remain Home, and Classes Resume Online March 23
ST. LEO, FL – Saint Leo University has decided to make adjustments to university operations and move to online classes. The university is following guidance issued to the state universities in Florida regarding the coronavirus.
Saint Leo’s students at its residential campus in Pasco County are now on spring break. University officials have suspended classes for University Campus students during the week of March 16-20, in order to allow faculty to prepare to deliver all classes online beginning Monday, March 23.
In addition, all classes that now are taught on-ground at Saint Leo’s education centers throughout Florida and the United States, will move online beginning Monday, March 16.
Classes will go online-only on March 16 at Saint Leo’s Shaw Air Force Base and Sumter education centers:
● Shaw Education Center, Shaw Air Force Base, 398 Shaw Drive, Building 501, Room 116, Shaw AFB, SC 29152, and,
● Sumter Education Office, 2751 S. Wise Drive, Sumter, SC 29150.
Education center students should be prepared to begin online classes on Monday, March 16.
In addition, the presentation on graduate human services and social work programs, scheduled for March 23, has been canceled. This was being hosted by the Sumter Education Office.
All residential students at the campus in St. Leo, FL, are being asked to return to their permanent residence following spring break, rather than returning to campus (and to remain at home during this period of online instruction). Housing will be available on a limited basis for student-athletes, who participate in spring sports, and those students who are unable to return
home to their permanent residence. University Campus students should be prepared to begin online classes on Monday, March 23.
During this time
The university also is canceling all large, group events. Additional details about individual cancellations will be shared by event organizers. Additionally, the university is restricting all non-essential travel. Additional information may be found on Saint Leo’s website
4:35pm Roman Catholic Diocese of Charleston
All Masses this weekend should go on as planned.
However, Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone is granting dispensation for Masses this weekend to those who are at high risk for adverse health complications from COVID-19, or do not feel comfortable attending Mass.
The Catholic Catechism (2181) allows you to miss Mass as a result of illness. Regarding Mass, Bishop Guglielmone asks that the following temporary precautions be made.
It should be noted that these changes are only temporary and are being done out of prudence and charity with the greater good of the faithful in mind. • Remove Holy Water from the hand-fonts, and if available, have hand sanitizer at all entrances.
• Remove missalettes, hymnals, etc. from the pews and consider one-time use worship aids.
• Suspend the exchange of the Sign of Peace or announce that it can be done with a simple bow. Also, no hand holding during the Lord's Prayer.
• Suspend the distribution of the Precious Blood during Holy Communion. • Saliva can be a very potent form of transmission of the virus. Given the frequency of direct contact with saliva in the distribution of Holy Communion, we highly recommend that distribution only be in the hand.
• Keep the gifts of bread and wine covered on the credence table -- no offertory gifts procession.
• Re-enforce procedures for having Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion sanitize their hands prior to and after distributing Communion.
• Priests be extra vigilant that all vessels used during Mass are properly cleaned after each use.
• If possible, during the collection, limit the number of hands touching the basket.
' Assure the faithful they are not obliged to attend Mass if they are sick and staying home can be an act of charity towards their fellow parishioners.
4:30 PM Ticket holders
4:26 PM NCAA announcement
4:25 pm Minor League Baseball Statement
Minor League Baseball (MiLB) issued the following statement today:
“In light of the current coronavirus outbreak, and after consultation with medical professionals and our partners at Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball will delay the start of the 2020 Championship Season.
We will continue to monitor the developments and will announce additional information about the 2020 season at a later date. We will work with Major League Baseball and our community partners to resume play as soon as it is safe to do so. The health and safety of Minor League Baseball fans, players and executives is our top priority, and our thoughts are with those around the world who have been affected by this outbreak.”
4:10 pm Sen. Lindsay Graham
Statement from the Office of Senator Lindsey Graham
WASHINGTON – The office of U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham today released this statement.
"Senator Graham was at Mar-a-Lago last weekend. He has no recollection of direct contact with the President of Brazil, who is awaiting results of a coronavirus test, or his spokesman who tested positive.
“However, in an abundance of caution and upon the advice of his doctor, Senator Graham has decided to self-quarantine awaiting the results of a coronavirus test.
“This is a precautionary measure. He will continue to work from home.”
4:05 pm SCDHEC Twitter
3:56 pm South Carolina Philharmonic
The South Carolina Philharmonic has decided to close our upcoming Masterworks concert, Phenoms & Schumann, to the public.
The concert will be performed in full on the stage at the Koger Center and live streamed this Saturday, March 14th 2020 at 7:30 p.m. and rebroadcast at a later date on South Carolina Public Radio.
On behalf of the board of directors and staff, it is our sincere hope that patrons support this decision and will consider donating their tickets to help support the cost of this alternative concert broadcast. A link to the live stream will be on the SC Philharmonic website in advance of the concert this Saturday. The latest updates will be posted on the South Carolina Philharmonic website.
3:52 pm City of Sumter
As the coronavirus (COVID-19) cases continue to rise, our community must take steps necessary to reduce the risk of exposure.
The national and state directives are very explicit in what you need to be doing to minimize an outbreak of coronavirus. Most of which are common sense factors in line with safe hygiene and personal habits:
- Frequently, vigorously and thoroughly wash hands with soap and water,
- Refrain from touching others – practice alternatives to customary greetings,
- Refrain from touching your own face and mouth,
- Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze,
- Stay at home if you are sick.
The City of Sumter is taking this seriously and are stressing safe practices with all of our employees and in all office facilities. We are encouraging all employees who have symptoms of acute respiratory illness to stay home, provided hand hygiene products to all government departments, and perform routine cleaning.
As we move forward we will be evaluating meetings and events on an ongoing basis and will keep the public aware of any changes or updates to our scheduling.
I encourage our entire community to stay in constant contact with your friends, family and neighbors to make sure we are all safe during this time; however, remember to do so with safety in mind.
3:01 pm City of Columbia
Due to the Coronavirus outbreak, the City of Columbia Parks and Recreation Department will postpone the following events:
Adult basketball league championship game scheduled for Friday March 12, 2020 at 7:00 pm at Charles Drew Wellness Center
Senior Exercise programs at Hyatt Park on M, W, F 10:30 am and Greenview Park M, W, F 10:00 am
Mayor’s Play-Ball Initiative, scheduled for Saturday March 21, 2020 at 10 am at Earlewood Park
New dates will be announced.
For more information, contact the Columbia Parks & Recreation Department at 803-545-3100.
2:52 pm Historic Columbia has decided to postpone the following events through April 4, 2020:
· 16th Annual Bluegrass, Bidding and BBQ (March 19)
· City of Women Research Roundtable (March 24)
· City of Women Saturday Roll Bus Tour (March 28)
· Closing Day at Capital City Stadium (April 4)
For all attendees who have purchased tickets to these events, Historic Columbia will honor all purchases once the event has been rescheduled. Should there be an instance where Historic Columbia opts to not reschedule, full refunds will be issued. All house museums will remain open at this time.