S.C. DHEC urging people to stay safe during New Year’s Eve celebrations

S.C. DHEC urging people to stay safe during New Year’s Eve celebrations

BEAUFORT, S.C. (WTOC) - One day away from New Year’s Eve and the Lowcountry is already seeing a spike in COVID-19 cases.

Because of that, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control is warning people to stay home instead of going out to celebrate.

“Have a gathering with those in your household. That being said if you do choose to go out and about be smart. Be wise,” said DHEC Lowcountry Public Health Director Taylor Lee.

Be wise. One warning from DHEC they are hoping Lowcountry residents will listen to. As COVID-19 numbers rise in the Lowcountry, DHEC officials are watching numbers and expecting a third holiday surge after the New Year’s Eve celebrations Thursday night.

They hope people will stay home and heed the governor’s mandate that restaurants can’t serve alcohol after 11. Taylor Lee with DHEC says this is especially on New Years Eve.

“We all know when the ball drops you have a lot of hugs, kisses, Happy New Year’s. Maybe it’s an attempt to avoid that almost prescribed getting close to hug and New Year’s kiss.”

Lee also hopes restaurants will follow guidelines rather than finding ways to stay open.

“If those restaurants, if those bars are staying open to, again, follow the mandates. Make sure that the folks coming in are wearing masks, make sure they are continuing to wear masks, and either two previous people coming in that the tables are spaced properly, bar seating will be space properly as well, and that there’s plenty of hand sanitizer. If you are going to go into a group setting like that, you have to be a smart as you possibly can.”

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