South Carolina experts offer coronavirus safety tips


It’s arduous to wade via the deluge of coronavirus security ideas in South Carolina.

To assist residents and vacationers alongside the coast higher navigate the disaster, The Island Packet and Beaufort Gazette requested 5 Palmetto State well being specialists to elucidate how they hold themselves and their very own households secure.

Right here’s what they needed to say:

Questions & solutions

Q: Do you ever put on gloves in public?

Dr. Joan Duwve, director of public well being on the S.C. Division of Well being and Environmental Management: No. Gloves, like palms, will be contaminated by touching surfaces. I keep away from touching surfaces, if potential. If I’ve to the touch one thing, I take advantage of hand sanitizer instantly afterward.

Dr. Michael Sweat, director of the Medical College of South Carolina’s Center for Global Health and director of the COVID-19 Epidemiology Intelligence Project: I don’t use gloves for cover. I feel frequent hand washing is healthier. Gloves don’t defend you except you modify them often, and you may nonetheless contact your face and contaminate your self.

Dr. Gerald Harmon, household drugs doctor and vp of medical affairs at Tidelands Health, in Horry and Georgetown counties: No, I don’t. We don’t actually have a must put on them in public. So long as you wash your palms, it doesn’t actually make a distinction.

Dr. Kathleen Cartmell, public well being professor at Clemson College: I by no means put on gloves in public. As a substitute I take advantage of hand sanitizer each time I am going out and in of a public institution. I additionally go residence and wash my palms with heat soapy water after I’ve been out.

Russell Baxley, president and CEO of Beaufort Memorial Hospital: No. I do follow good hand hygiene and carry sanitizer with me.

Q: Do you put on a masks or face defend? Is one higher than the opposite?

Duwve: I put on a masks and eye masking (glasses) after I’m in an enclosed area with different individuals and after I’m outdoors with others and never in a position to preserve no less than six ft of social distancing.

Sweat: I put on a masks routinely, however not a face defend. Face shields are helpful safety, however it isn’t both/or. If you happen to use a face defend, you also needs to be carrying a masks. It’s not very possible to put on a face defend for most individuals.

Harmon: I put on a masks after I’m out in public, both a surgical or fabric masks. I solely put on a face defend within the medical surroundings after I’m testing, treating or evaluating COVID-19 sufferers or suspected COVID-19 sufferers.

Cartmell: I at all times put on a masks after I’m out in public, at grocery shops, in pharmacies, on the vet. Personally, I don’t see a advantage of carrying a face defend over a masks. A masks is designed to cowl your nostril and mouth, which is what’s essential on an on a regular basis foundation.

Baxley: Sure, I put on a masks at any time when I am going out in public. I consider they each present advantages.

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Carlos Corona, left, clears the dishes from the desk at Hudson’s Seafood Home on the Docks as A.J. Kestler, proper, prepares to sanitize the chairs and desk with a disenfectant on Monday, Could 4, 2020 on Hilton Head Island. Hudson’s Seafood Company acquired between $350,000 and $1 million in forgivable PPP loans because of the coronavirus. Drew Martin dmartin@islandpacket.com

Q: Do you get takeout or eat in-person at eating places? Exterior or inside?

Duwve: I hardly ever get takeout meals as a result of my husband likes to prepare dinner.

Sweat: Often I’ll get takeout to deliver residence. I might not eat inside a restaurant presently.

Harmon: Sure, I’ll get takeout or eat at a restaurant. We sometimes sit inside — it’s so sizzling outdoors proper now. After all, the tables are spaced out, and we follow social distancing. I additionally put on a masks strolling via the restaurant to our desk and put on it when ordering. It’s inconceivable to put on whereas consuming, in fact, however I’ll put it again on after ending the meal and put on it as we depart.

Cartmell: We haven’t eaten in a restaurant because the COVID-19 scenario began. We do take out a couple of times per week.

Baxley: We’ve got in the reduction of considerably on eating out, however after we do, we dine outdoors. We’ve got supported native eating places by ordering takeout.

Q: Do you go grocery buying in individual? Why or why not?

Duwve: I do go grocery buying in individual, however I select my shops primarily based on whether or not their workers put on masks that cowl their nostril and mouth, if they’re crowded, and what number of of their prospects put on masks. I attempt to go very early within the morning.

Sweat: Sure, I am going grocery buying in individual. The place I reside there is no such thing as a meals supply possibility, but when there have been I might use that.

Harmon: I didn’t go earlier than COVID-19 and I’m not planning on going now. If I went to a grocery retailer, I’d put on a masks and follow social distancing. I do put on a masks within the 7-Eleven or different comfort shops.

Cartmell: At this level we nonetheless get groceries in individual, utilizing precautions. Increasingly pals although are buying on-line to reduce threat.

Baxley: Sure, with a masks.

Q: What companies or gatherings do you attempt to keep away from?

Duwve: I don’t actually go wherever that isn’t mandatory. Proper now, the less individuals I’m in direct contact with, the much less likelihood I’ve of coming into contact with somebody who has COVID-19.

Sweat: All of them. We at the moment have roughly 34 infections per 100,000 individuals in Charleston per day (as of Aug. 4). Which means that there’s a very massive variety of individuals carrying the virus. Most of those individuals have no idea they’ve it and possibly have gentle or no signs. Each go to to a enterprise or gathering is a threat.

Harmon: I don’t. I’m not afraid or avoiding any explicit sort of enterprise. There have been no gatherings I may have gone to, so I’m not lacking any gathering as a result of they haven’t been held.

Cartmell: By far I’ve seen the largest crowds at massive residence enchancment and chain shops. I see some individuals working towards precautions, however there are such a lot of individuals who aren’t paying any consideration to social distancing or carrying a masks. It actually scares me.

Baxley: Most gatherings I keep away from outdoors of labor. At work, we do meet, however in small teams which might be distanced and all are carrying masks. We do attempt to nearly meet as a lot as potential.

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Sunbathers catch the final rays of sunshine on Myrtle Seashore on Saturday. Although barricades had been in place, this Saturday of Memorial Day weekend appeared a lot totally different from years previous. With Bike Fest postponed, household teams, some carrying masks walked Ocean Boulevard. Could 23, 2020 JASON LEE jlee@thesunnews.com

Q: Would you go to the seaside with your loved ones and if sure, what precautions would you are taking when there?

Duwve: I might go to a quiet seaside and discover a place to sit down away from crowds. I burn simply, so I might stroll early within the morning and swim earlier than the crowds confirmed up. I might take sufficient foods and drinks for the length and if I had been going to remain, I’d discover a rental so I may put together my very own meals, or get perform.

Sweat: Sure, I am going to the seaside from time to time. I put on a masks and keep 10 ft away from others. It’s outdoors so the chance is minimized.

Harmon: Sure, I might. Sure, I’ve. And sure, I take precautions. We reside throughout the road from the seaside, so we go at a much less crowded time. And we at all times hold 12-feet social distance from others — greater than the same old six ft with the extra area on the seaside.

Cartmell: I might solely go to the seaside if there weren’t lots of people on the seaside. Proper now, although, that’s not potential, so I’d keep away from seashores.

Baxley: Sure, as long as we may socially distance. If the seaside was too crowded, we might flip round.

Q: Would you go to a gymnasium? Why or why not? Do you run or stroll outdoors?

Duwve: I don’t sometimes go to gyms however did attend a couple of yoga periods at a gymnasium earlier than COVID-19. The room was massive with excessive ceilings and good air movement and everybody was spaced out. If I did return to yoga, I might make sure you put on a masks.

Sweat: I personally completely wouldn’t go to a gymnasium. It’s inside, which is extra dangerous. Persons are understanding and respiratory arduous, which amplifies the chance.

Harmon: I might go with none reservations. I might put on a masks throughout a category with others. I’d deliver my very own towel, and bathe earlier than and after however not on the gymnasium. I get pleasure from operating, strolling and biking outdoors. I don’t put on a masks whereas I’m doing these actions, however I at all times have one with me so I can put it on if somebody stops me to talk.

Cartmell: I positively go for walks outdoors lots. Contemporary air is extremely protecting as a result of virus particles are in a position to diffuse simply via the air.

Baxley: Sure, I am going to a gymnasium, however I masks and I do run outdoors. Bodily health is essential to remain wholesome pre-pandemic and through a pandemic. It is a crucial a part of my life.

Q: Would you go to a bar or membership?

Duwve: No.

Sweat: Purple alert on this one! No means would I am going to a bar or membership. These are by far essentially the most dangerous locations an individual may go to. The noise degree forces individuals to talk loudly and that dramatically will increase transmission. It additionally forces individuals to face shut collectively. Individuals additionally chill out their distancing on account of consuming alcohol. Bars and golf equipment needs to be closed now if we need to recover from this epidemic.

Harmon: No, I don’t go to bars. I haven’t been to a bar in years. No motive to go.

Cartmell: Nope, no means!

Baxley: No.

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The Morris Island Lighthouse serves as a beacon because it guides kayaker Tim Brown of Savannah down Folly Creek. Matt Richardson Particular to The Island Packet/The Beaufort Gazette

Q: Would you hike, kayak or take part in different outside actions?

Duwve: Sure.

Sweat: Sure, however I might put on a masks if individuals had been round.

Harmon: Completely. I might go on a hike whereas social distancing. A kayak — definitely. I feel you are able to do these items with out lots of restrictions.

Cartmell: We’ve tried going mountaineering to see waterfalls, however after we bought there, there have been so many individuals going onto the paths we turned again. Climbing would positively be OK, although, if you’ll find locations that aren’t crowded.

Baxley: Sure.

Q: If you happen to had been staying at a short-term rental, what would you do to reduce COVID-19 dangers?

Duwve: I might clear the often touched surfaces earlier than I unpacked. I at all times journey with my very own pillow — however that might be the one object I wouldn’t need to share with another person!

Sweat: Wipe down the surfaces with disinfectant after I arrived. Most transmission is going on from droplets and perhaps aerosols coming from being near individuals, particularly when indoors. Getting COVID-19 from surfaces is much less frequent. However I might nonetheless take the time to wipe down surfaces.

Harmon: What you’re fascinated about is decontamination. The science doesn’t say we catch it that means. The interpersonal interactions are your highest threat. It’s person-to-person, not person-to-chair. I might get it from the germs within the air. So, watch interactions with personnel, ensure they’re carrying masks and hold that six ft of social distance. I’d even depart the room whereas they’re cleansing it in the event that they confirmed up whereas we had been within the room.

Cartmell: My mother needed to keep at a resort just lately and he or she’s older. I informed her to take her personal pillow, keep away from contact with the bedspread as a result of sheets are modified between visitors, however bedspreads usually are not. I additionally suggested her to scrub surfaces with wipes reminiscent of across the sink space and on the bedside desk she was utilizing.

Baxley: I might wipe down high-touch surfaces, however have averted journey the place we should keep in a single day at a resort or rental.

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A thick forest separates Okatie Elementary College, foreground, with the Okatie River on Friday, Could 1, 2020, the longer term residence of River Oaks. Builders plan to make use of the 2008 growth settlement with Beaufort County, which permits for 330 single and multi-family houses. Drew Martin dmartin@islandpacket.com

Q: If you happen to had children, would you ship them to in-person courses at college this yr?

Duwve: I do have children — they’re older and in a college setting. Each of their colleges are providing courses remotely. A lot in regards to the resolution to attend in-person actually is dependent upon the household scenario and the way a lot illness is circulating in the neighborhood. A household that has aged grandparents residing with them could not really feel they’ll threat sending a toddler to highschool the place they may get contaminated unknowingly. It’s additionally essential to contemplate the chance to academics and the affect on a toddler ought to they lose a instructor to COVID-19. If all of us rally and put on our masks, I’m hopeful that illness ranges will fall to a degree that everybody can get again to highschool and work safely.

Sweat: No. The charges of an infection and transmission are too excessive now for that.

Harmon: Proper now, I’d say I’d do what the county is doing. It has threat ranges — low, reasonable, excessive — and programs of motion for every, much like hurricane warnings. If we had been on the low degree, I might permit my grandkids to attend.

Cartmell: Fortuitously our son simply graduated and he’s going to take a spot yr. Choices about going again to highschool are going to be arduous for individuals. Fascinated about issues from the attitude of stopping COVID-19, I might strongly favor to not ship my baby right into a classroom. Nonetheless, I do know there are additionally lots of dangers when children aren’t in class and never all households have the assets to show on-line.

Baxley: No, however every scenario is totally different and we might be able, with a stay-at-home mother, the place we might not must ship our youngsters to highschool. That mentioned, if we weren’t on this scenario, I might ship them to highschool and do consider the faculties have tried to take the mandatory precautions and adopted suggestions by (the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention).

Q: Ought to South Carolinians count on one other surge this fall? When would that materialize?

Duwve: Not if we proceed to do the issues we all know work. Put on a masks, preserve a secure bodily distance from others, keep away from crowded areas indoors and out and work with public well being officers in your group in the event that they name you a couple of optimistic check or an publicity to another person who examined optimistic. In truth, if we do these items, and get a flu shot, we may have a really gentle influenza season as nicely.

Sweat: Properly, we are literally having a surge proper now, however I do fear that it’s going to worsen within the fall. Particularly so when the climate cools and folks get collectively in poorly ventilated indoor areas, when colleges open, and when universities open. Universities fear me lots. These college students are younger adults who shall be in settings which might be tailor made for outbreaks.

Harmon: What we have now now and may proceed to count on is ongoing transmission of the virus. The mitigation methods — carrying a face masks, working towards social distancing, avoiding massive gatherings, washing palms — have stabilized the unfold the place we’re.

Cartmell: It looks as if we’re simply having one huge surge that continues to develop bigger and bigger. The virus is spreading so rapidly now that instances are multiplying, as every one who will get contaminated is passing the virus to a number of individuals. That is what we have to keep away from.

Baxley: Exhausting to say: Colleges opening would create potential for a surge if not accomplished proper.

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David Fleming, supervisor at Sharky’s Bike Rental on Pope Avenue adjusts a seat for Cincinnati resident Perry Herbert, left and his spouse Karen Herbert on Saturday, June 27, 2020 on Hilton Head Island. Fleming mentioned about 50 p.c of the purchasers wore a face masking, which he most well-liked. Whereas the Ohioans weren’t actively carrying a masks outside, the guests had been carrying masks to put on when getting into companies. Drew Martin dmartin@islandpacket.com

Q: How has tourism contributed to coronavirus unfold in coastal counties?

Duwve: Every time massive teams of individuals get collectively and don’t distance themselves from one another and put on a masks, coronavirus will unfold. We’ve got definitely skilled that first-hand in South Carolina.

Sweat: It’s tough to know for certain, however I believe that it has helped to gasoline the elevated progress of the COVID-19 epidemic. It provides to crowding within the space. Being a vacationer by definition selects for individuals much less frightened about COVID-19, as I feel these most frightened are laying low and staying residence. Vacationers staying in resorts additionally must exit to eat and are most likely extra prone to go to bars. Having mentioned that, I believe that tourism could also be much less of a priority than individuals suppose, as there’s loads of threat habits by locals.

Harmon: It has been an accelerant. It’s not the complete trigger. There’s additionally been group unfold from events, individuals not carrying face masks or not working towards social distancing.

Cartmell: At this level, the vacationers are taking dangers coming right here as a result of our an infection charges are so excessive.

Baxley: Undetermined — you’d consider nonetheless that it could contribute to a rise in unfold.

Q: What else ought to residents and vacationers have in mind because the pandemic continues this summer season?

Duwve: Outside is greatest (ensure to put on solar safety), preserve no less than six ft of distance from others and put on your masks anytime you’re indoors and for those who can’t keep bodily distanced from others whereas outside.

Sweat: One message I need to stress — we have now all been informed three key issues that scale back threat: 1. Exterior is healthier than inside 2. Put on a masks and three. Preserve your distance from individuals. Nonetheless, these usually are not mutually unique. You should do all on the similar time when potential. If you’re outdoors, nonetheless put on a masks and hold your distance. If you’re inside and carrying a masks, you completely nonetheless must hold your distance. Someway, many individuals appear to suppose that simply working towards one among these is sufficient — it isn’t. Do all of them.

Harmon: Preserve your foot on the gasoline. Don’t let up. That is an endurance race proper now. We are able to’t make a pit cease.

Cartmell: Please be secure and maintain your self and your group proper now. It’s the one means we’re going to get the virus beneath management.

Baxley: Comply with the foundations.

Comply with extra of our reporting on Coronavirus in South Carolina


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Sam Ogozalek is a reporter at The Island Packet masking COVID-19 restoration efforts. He’s additionally a Report for America corps member. He just lately graduated from Syracuse College and has written for the Tampa Bay Instances, The Buffalo Information and the Naples Every day Information.





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