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Gov. Henry McMaster announced May 11 that close contact service providers including salons and barber shops, fitness and exercise centers, and public pools throughout South Carolina will be able to open in a limited capacity on Monday, May 18. He also lifted restrictions on recreational facilities and activities.

The pomp and circumstance will be far less this year, but seniors in Beaufort County high schools will have their chance to walk across the stage. With South Carolina schools shut down for the remainder of the academic year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, district high schools are planning a creative approach to graduation ceremonies that include commemorative videos as well as drive-through celebrations for students and their families.

T-shirts printed with the hopeful message “Lowco Strong” were part of a creative campaign that raised $6,000 this month for Lowcountry nonprofit organizations.

Bluffton resident Justin Jarrett, founder of Lowcosports.com, partnered with 19 local charities to raise much-needed funding in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.  The shirts sold for $20 with $10 from each shirt sold going to the buyer’s favorite charity.

The silver semi-trailer on cement blocks on the site of Hilton Head Island’s Gullah Museum is a curiosity to passers-by on Gumtree Road.

“They wonder about its significance,” said Louise Cohen, founder and executive director of the Gullah Museum.


Resilience and the ability to repurpose items are skills many hope to develop as the country faces the COVID-19 crisis. The silver trailer on the island’s north end is a testament to strength and ingenuity of Native Islanders who lived here more than a half century ago.

Hilton Head Island nonprofit dealing with unprecedented needs

The Deep Well Project has been helping islanders in need for 47 years, but now many of the nonprofit’s former donors are seeking assistance. As Lowcountry businesses remain shuttered and job losses mount due to COVID-19, Deep Well’s ability to help with food and rent is more important than ever, said executive director Sandy Gillis. In addition to the nonprofit’s regular clients, Hilton Head Island residents from all walks of life are submitting requests for help.

When Paula Traver returned recently from yet another trip to Walmart, the Hilton Head Island resident wasn’t ready to rest. There was so much to be done.

Since last weekend, Traver has spent about 12 hours each day sewing masks to help prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Using fabric depicting Batman and the solar system, Traver’s designs originally were just for family, friends and her real estate clients. But late last week her husband Jack went to Grayco wearing one of the masks she made. The mask was a hit at the hardware store and management asked Jack if Paula could make some for its employees. Sure, she said —16 masks shouldn’t be a problem.

Dear Gov. McMaster:

We, as members of the local media who have taken part in somber press conferences and have been reporting on grim statistics, implore you to order our state’s residents to stay at home.

South Carolina had 1,554 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of April 2— including 130 in Beaufort County, where our offices for Hilton Head Monthly and Bluffton Monthly magazines are located.  

Nationwide, millions of Americans have been ordered to stay home in at least 38 states to help flatten the curve, to help us get back to our normal lives. California spearheaded the movement in mid-March. Others have followed and, according to the New York Times, 297 million Americans are now under stay-at-home orders.