Charleston City, health leaders provide update on latest COVID-19 response, safe holiday travel


CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – One of the busiest holiday’s for travel starts at airports across the country leading up to Thanksgiving and that’s no different at the Charleston International Airport and in the Lowcountry.

City leaders are asking residents to take extra steps this holiday season to keep the community and our loved ones safe.

“We are trying to keep the numbers down low here in the City of Charleston… if this doesn’t happen… we’re going to have to make some drastic decisions,” says City Councilman Robert Mitchell.

Numbers of new COVID-19 cases have remained steady in Charleston since a July spike. Leaders say that can’t change now.

“So we’re in a good spot, so let’s not blow it y’all,” says City of Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg.

“Although we can now start to see the finish line and fatigue has set in, we must be careful not to stumble at the finish line,” says MUSC President Dr. David Cole.

Mayor Tecklenburg and others are urging testing before turkey, wearing a mask, and being smart for those planning to gather.

“Let’s think before the thanks; how are you going to space folks out, can you do it outside, always wear a mask when you’re close up to other folks,” says Mayor Tecklenburg.

During an unusual holiday season, Dr. Cole says gatherings should be limited and kept as small as possible.

“I understand the temptation to gather for the holiday, but we’ve come too far… and have sacrificed too much for us to falter now,” says Dr. Cole.

With numbers surging nationally, city leaders say if mask rules are not followed, they could be forced to take action.

“People are walking around with no mask on right behind each other,” says Councilman Mitchell. “It’s dangerous, it’s very, very dangerous.”

With a vaccine becoming more of a reality and a light at the end of the tunnel, Mayor Tecklenburg says we can’t let our guard down just yet.

“We must continue to think before we give thanks, and make sure that we all fallow those smart practices,” says Mayor Tecklenburg.

For those taking to the skies, the Charleston International Airport has partnered with MUSC to offer free COVID-19 testing for passengers who are interested in being tested.

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