Experts warn of rising COVID-19 cases, holiday spread


CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – COVID-19 cases and deaths are once again on the rise both nationally and locally. On Friday, lawmakers, activists, and doctors put their heads together to discuss ways to control rising case numbers in Charleston.

The main strategy to control the spread is reminding the public of what medical professionals know works: hand hygiene, social distancing, and mask wearing.

State Representative Wendell Gilliard held a press conference Friday, beginning with a moment of silence for all of the lives lost to COVID-19. He then thanked all of the front-line workers, from medical, to sanitation, to the teachers and staff in our schools state-wide.

Gilliard said, “the only way we can get through this storm is by working together. We must put aside party differences and put the people first.” As the holidays approach Gilliard reminded the public that everyone must be more vigilant and heed the words of both medical professionals and scientists.

Dr. Danielle Bowen Scheurer, the Chief Quality Officer for MUSC said a recent survey showed that 40% of Americans are planning to have large gatherings for the holidays. With that statistic, and 150,000 cases of COVID-19 recorded in a single day for the U.S., we need to be deliberate about our actions.

As for family gatherings this season, sticking to just those in your household is best, but if others join, it is better to meet outdoors.

Limit the gatherings to as few people as possible. Certainly use different sorts of social media and zoom activities , things like that to invite in family and friends into your home in your gatherings without physically having them there. And then certainly if you are having people over with a gathering, they need to bring their own utensils, their own food, their own drinks, etc. We know that sharing a meal—whether we like it or not is going to be a high risk activity.

Dr. Danielle scheirer, musc chief quality officer

Representative Gilliard said he is once again calling on Governor McMaster to initiate a state-wide mask mandate ahead of the holiday season.

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