Leaders across industries meet virtually to discuss rapidly increasing COVID-19 numbers in Charleston

Local News

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – On Thursday, MUSC organized a virtual meeting with business, education, and health leaders to discuss grim new statistics showing a spike in COVID-19 cases in the Lowcountry.

This week, Charleston County surpassed Greenville County and has the most COVID-19 cases in the state.

Dr. David Cole, President of MUSC says the virus isn’t going anywhere, so we have to learn to live with it:

“Until as a nation we’re able to develop and deploy an effective vaccine, or have effective therapies for COVID-19, we are going to have to deal with this virus.”

Dr. David Cole

He continued to say that “live with it” means, taking some personal responsibility:

“Encourage people to make good choices.”

Dr. David Cole

One of the ways that MUSC plans to do this, in a world full of conflicting information about COVID-19, is with a new measurement system to simply summarize data.

This graph displays the rate of infection in Charleston, right now we are in a “Code Orange” and could be closing in on a “Code Red:”

“The number of COVID-19 infections is soaring in our Charleston community. And likely, the Fourth of July weekend will only make it worse in the days ahead.”

Dr. David Cole

While healthcare workers have bore a brunt of the work during the pandemic, it’s hard to find an industry that hasn’t been touched by COVID-19:

“I want to thank our hotels, our restaurants, our attractions, our retailers and other businesses for those folks who are making the investment to protect their staff, our residents, and our visitors, but, sadly, there are some that are not.”

Helen Hill, Charleston Visitors Bureau

Domestic airline travel is down 95% from this time last year, many bars and restaurants remain closed, and our children missed out on a quarter of their school year:

“Our students have fallen behind academically, many of them have lost traction in mathematics, and reading. That is compounded by the fact that our most vulnerable students have fallen even further behind.”

Dr. Gerrita Postlewait, CCSD Superintendent

Leaders explained in the meeting they believe the things that make Charleston so great, the amazing restaurants and the social nature of Lowcountry natives, are working to our determent during this pandemic. They added, just as we have come together in the past after terrible storms and tragedies, we need to come together now, take personal responsibility, and continue to wear masks and social distance.

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