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City of Charleston News Flash

Posted on: April 3, 2020

City of Charleston Coronavirus April 3 Update

At a press conference today, Mayor John Tecklenburg and city leaders once again stressed the importance of complying with the city’s Stay at Home ordinance and reviewed the city’s activities with regard to the coronavirus. To recap:

  • All city offices and facilities, including recreation centers, are closed to the public.
  • All in-person public meetings have been canceled until further notice. Essential meetings are being rescheduled as needed with technology to protect participants and the general public.
  • The city’s Permit Center is 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 permits@charleston-sc.gov.
  • 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=819
  • All city parks and playgrounds have been closed.
  • The 2020 seasons of the Charleston Farmers Market in Marion Square and West Ashley Farmers Market in Ackerman Park, both scheduled to begin in April, are suspended until further notice.
  • All instructor led Recreation Department programs and classes, including youth and adult sports programs, have been suspended.
  • The city’s Recreation Department is offering daily virtual recreation activities for all ages that can be done at home. They are providing ideas, crafts, videos, educational opportunities, virtual tours, activities, fitness classes, games and much more. Activities can be viewed on their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/chsrecreation or on the website, here: https://www.charleston-sc.gov/2406/Virtual-Recreation-Activities.
  • City senior centers are closed.
  • Public performances and gallery showings have been canceled in all city facilities until further notice.
  • The Piccolo Spoleto program of ticketed events planned for May 22 to June 7 will not proceed as planned. Once updated venue and artist availability can be assessed, select performances might be rescheduled for presentation later in 2020, or for inclusion in the 2021 Piccolo Spoleto Festival. Updates will be posted at www.piccolospoleto.com and on the Piccolo Spoleto Facebook Page. The 2021 Piccolo Spoleto Festival is scheduled for May 28 – June 13, 2021.
  • All city permitted tours are suspended until further notice.
  • City inspections of occupied structures have been suspended.
  • 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.
  • Many city staff members have transitioned to working remotely
  • Departments unable to telecommute have divided crews into A and B teams that alternate workweeks, so as to reduce contact with other city staff.
  • The city has implemented temporary curbside parking relief zones to provide support for local businesses that are fulfilling curbside pickup and delivery orders in lieu of dine-in service. A map of the zone locations is available here: www.charleston-sc.gov/curbside-parking-relief. Feedback about zone locations, including requests to add or move temporary curbside pickup zones, can be submitted to curbside@charleston-sc.gov.
  • The city has established an on-call magistrate to intervene should any illegal evictions be attempted, in order to ensure that SC Chief Justice Don Beatty’s order halting evictions statewide is followed locally.
  • The city is working with the Small Business Administration and City Council to make low-interest disaster loans available to help small businesses overcome this temporary loss of revenue. Applicants can apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at disasterloan.sba.gov. Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov for more information on available SBA disaster assistance. The deadline to apply is Dec. 21, 2020.
  • City staff members from the Legal and Emergency Management departments have formed an Essential Business Review Committee that meets daily to review applications received from local businesses that would like to be considered essential services. An updated list of essential businesses exempt from the stay at home ordinance is available on the city’s website, here: https://www.charleston-sc.gov/DocumentCenter/View/26251/Emergency-Ordinance-Stay-at-Home
  • The city’s Business and Neighborhood Services division created a website to connect citizens and businesses with local resources: charleston-sc.gov/covid19resourcelist. It features information on essential resources, business support services, recreation and educational resources as well as ways that citizens and businesses can help others in need.
  • The city has created a dashboard that shows the latest DHEC test result numbers and features a map of area hospitals and testing sites. The dashboard can be viewed here: https://gis.charleston-sc.gov/covid-19.
  • In an effort to resume trash service (yard debris and bulk items such as furniture, appliances, bedding and other large objects) while maintaining proper safety protocols, the city’s Public Service department has put together a temporary plan to provide modified trash collection. That plan can be viewed here: https://www.charleston-sc.gov/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=827
  • The city’s Livability Department, working with the Charleston Fire Department, has met with local grocery stores and big-box retailers to provide guidance on social distancing and protective measures that can be implemented. To lessen the chances of COVID-19 spread in these environments, the city has issued the following four recommendations to retailers:
  1. Limit occupancy to 50% of that allowed by code
  2. Mark areas for appropriate customer separation at checkout lanes
  3. Designate each aisle as one-way to lessen cross-traffic and enable social distancing
  4. Provide hand sanitizer and/or wipes to all patrons

In other news, the city of Charleston Public Service department will no longer pick up garbage, cardboard or other items that are not inside the green garbage cart for the safety of the employees. This change is consistent with Charleston County and other area municipalities in an effort to limit employees’ potential exposure to COVID-19. Any excess items that do not fit in the garbage cart can be taken to a Charleston County Convenience Center: https://www.charlestoncounty.org/departments/environmental-management/recycle-locations.php.

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