At an emergency telephonic City Council meeting at 2 p.m. today, Council will be briefed on city actions to date and consider a State of Emergency declaration. The call in number for the meeting is 1-800-747-5150; access code: 7243729#.
Following the meeting, at 3 p.m., Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg and MUSC President Dr. David Cole will hold a press conference at Washington Square, located behind City Hall at 80 Broad Street.
Currently, city officials and staff are taking the following additional steps to protect public safety and slow the spread of the coronavirus in our area.
All public meetings have been canceled through the end of the month. Essential meetings will be rescheduled as needed with technology and social distancing practices that protect participants and the general public.
Public performances and gallery showings have been canceled in all city facilities through March 31.
All instructor led Recreation Department programs and classes, including youth and adult sports programs, have been suspended. Consistent with CDC guidelines, citizens are discouraged from gathering in groups of 50 or more in city parks and playgrounds.
City senior centers are closed.
Beginning at noon today, the city’s Permit Center will be closed to the general public. Many permits can be submitted online through the Citizen Access Portal (CAP), https://www.charleston-sc.gov/cap. For permit types not yet configured in CAP, permit applications can be submitted digitally to firstname.lastname@example.org.
At this time, there will be no inspections of occupied structures. Inspections for unoccupied structures will continue as normal.
City departments are implementing work-from-home policies that allow city services to continue.
City Police, Fire and Sanitation have implemented enhanced safety protocols and prepared continuity of operations plans in case they are forced to maintain operations with a reduced workforce.
Mayor Tecklenburg said, “The health and public safety of our citizens and employees are always our priority. This virus is known to be very contagious and taking these social distancing measures is essential to mitigating the spread in our community.”
UPDATE: March 17, 2020, 5 a.m.
The city of Charleston continues to operate at OPCON 2, indicating a state of modified operations intended to limit person-to-person contact.
Charleston City Council met telephonically on March 16, 2020, to receive an update on the city’s response to the coronavirus. During the meeting, City Council approved a state of emergency declaration, as well as a set of three emergency ordinances with regard to COVID-19.
The first ordinance prohibits price gouging in the city of Charleston.
The second ordinance prohibits gatherings of 50 or more people in public, indoor, social gathering establishments. It does not apply to non-social public establishments, such as grocery stores or private offices, though the city still strongly recommends social distancing in those environments.
The third ordinance enables City Council, Ways and Means and Standing Committee meetings to be conducted telephonically, by video conference or other virtual means.
The emergency ordinances will remain in effect for 60 days, or until the state of emergency is terminated.
UPDATE: March 17, 2020, 8:30 p.m.
The city of Charleston remains at OPCON 2, with modified operations designed to limit in-person contact.
According to SC DHEC, there are now 47 positive cases of coronavirus in South Carolina, three of which tested positive in Charleston County. For the latest on testing and monitoring in South Carolina, visit https://www.scdhec.gov/monitoring-testing-covid-19.
Charleston City Council met at 5:30 p.m. this evening and received updates from Emergency Management on the city’s efforts to mitigate impacts and to ensure continued city operations in a safe environment. Council will continue to meet daily at 5:30 p.m. by phone for updates.
At a separate meeting earlier in the day, County and City officials agreed to defer collection of accommodations and hospitality taxes for 90 days.
Municipal Court jury and bench trials have been postponed. For details, please visit the Municipal Court website here: https://www.charleston-sc.gov/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=807
There will be a telephonic emergency Public Safety Committee meeting tomorrow, March 18 at 2 p.m. to discuss the implementation of the Emergency Ordinances put into effect on March 16 related to COVID-19. The dial-in is: 1-800-747-5150; access code: 7243729#.
UPDATE: March 18, 2020, 11:30 a.m.
In order to reduce the risk of Coronavirus transmission in the city of Charleston, all city permitted tours will be suspended until further notice, beginning at noon today. This action is being taken to create more social distancing, and is consistent with the goal of limiting group size on city streets, sidewalks and other common public areas.