News

At Red Cedar Elementary School one recent morning, families who came to pick up free breakfasts and lunches being offered by Beaufort County School District got more than just food.

The students who received the meals were the focus of loving attention and a reminder about the importance of academics from teachers and staff who volunteered their time. Wearing gloves and smiles, the volunteers asked each parent how many children were in the car.

FEELING SICK? CALL AHEAD FIRST, CONSIDER VIRTUAL VISITS

Staying safe during the novel coronavirus outbreak involves making some smart decisions before seeking health care. 

Symptoms of the coronavirus — formally known as COVIID-19 — include fever, cough and shortness of breath, but many health care providers are urging patients to call ahead before making a trip to the doctor if they’re feeling ill. 

Bluffton Mayor Lisa Sulka has been sending out daily bulletins of useful information to keep the town informed about the coronavirus. Subscribe to the mailing list at townofbluffton.sc.gov. The town also has produced a map of nonprofit agencies that may be able to help local families who are experiencing financial/food challenges. If you know an organization that may be able to help but isn’t listed, please email Ryan Coleman at rcoleman@townofbluffton.com.

On March 21, Hilton Head Island Mayor John McCann closed all public access to Hilton Head beaches for 60 days to prevent people from gathering. Parking lots and restrooms at public beaches also are closed. His order does not affect properties with private beach access.

Town Hall also is closed until further notice to help slow the spread of coronavirus. Town staff will be available by phone or email. The public is also encouraged to access some services online through the town’s website, hiltonheadislandsc.gov, or to “follow” the town on social media. 

Beaufort-Jasper Water & Sewer Authority reminds residents that only toilet paper should be flushed; wipes — including those labeled flushable — and other products will clog the sewers. 

And though local utilities will not disconnect service during the Covid-19 quarantine, officials say meters will be checked and bills still will be sent out. Residents are asked to pay what they can to prevent a large overdue bill or disconnection once this emergency has passed.

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster has extended the state’s tax deadline to match the federal deadline, which has been moved to July 15. However, other state taxes are still due June 1.

The Voices of El Shaddai, a Hilton Head Island-based choir, was named one of five recipients of the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award for 2020. The award is presented by the S.C. General Assembly to recognize those who practice traditional art forms and are committed to keeping those traditions alive. Led by founder and director Gail Ragland, the group’s music includes traditional spirituals and contemporary gospel influenced by Gullah-Geechee culture.

SBA’s Disaster Declaration Makes Loans Available Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

We are in this together. As a courtesy to our business partners we are providing you with this step by step SBA loan application guide. All of South Carolina business are eligible to apply for  Economic Injury Disaster Loans to help cover working capital needs. The maximum interest rate is 3.75% for the duration of the loan.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is offering designated states and territories low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

We can’t control the national news, but we can manage how we react to the constant barrage of scary headlines. In times of crisis — like the global COVID-19 pandemic — it is critical to manage your stress and mental health. Here, Sarah Eliasoph, executive director of NAMI Lowcountry, the local chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Health, offers some practical suggestions: