CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – In a Friday afternoon press conference, City of Charleston Mayor, John Tecklenburg, addressed best practices for beginning to slowly reopen the local economy, including the formation of the “re|IGNITE” alliance.
Experts from the business, healthcare, nonprofit, and government sectors are working together to “create a coordinated, science-based plan to restore the local economy…including industry-specific guidance on how and when to safely reopen.”
On the topic of reopening, Mayor Tecklenburg and Director of Emergency Management, Shannon Scaff, agreed that precautions must be taken to prevent a second wave of infection as a result of easing some restrictions.
Mayor Tecklenburg emphasized testing and contact tracing as critical tools to ensure a safe reopening.
The city is working with MUSC to provide serology testing for all healthcare providers and first responders, and they hope to expand that effort soon.
Additionally, many furloughed workers in the healthcare sector are being brought back to work as contact tracers.
Police Chief Luther Reynolds and Mayor Tecklenburg agreed that personal responsibility will be a huge factor in a successful reopening. They emphasized the need to protect the most vulnerable, particularly those in nursing homes. Mayor Tecklenburg cited the hotspot at Heartland Health and Rehabilitation Center in Hanahan as an example of why it is so important to protect the elderly and those with underlying conditions.
Mayor Tecklenburg said the reopening efforts needed to be slow and careful, not like flipping a light switch, but that he is confident we will get through these tough times.