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Richland County prepares response to potential coronavirus threat

Although there are no cases of the coronavirus in South Carolina, Richland County Government is taking precautions.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Richland County officials are discussing the coronavirus and precautions that need to be taken to protect against this virus in Richland County.

There are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in South Carolina, but county leadership is monitoring the outbreak in other areas and preparing a potential response. 

"As we work quickly to implement precautionary measures, collaboration and seamless communication will be especially critical," County Administrator Leonardo Brown said.

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Council representatives and administrative personnel have proposed guidelines, as well as information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control to inform the County's response.

"We are aware of the concerns among residents as more people across the nation contract this virus," said County Council Chair Paul Livingston. "It is important we act diligently and responsibly to ensure we're ready to provide a focused and coordinated response that pus residents and employees at top of mind."

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The County's emergency management staff began working on a response plan as soon as the virus was reported in the United States. The department heads are also working on contingency plans to maintain County operations in the event staffing levels are affected. 

Livingston says that preparation is key, is encouraging the stop to misinformation and rumors. 

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To help reduce the spread of germs at County facilities, Richland County's maintenance team sanitizes common areas throughout the day. The Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center has also identified areas to quarantine detainees who test positive for the virus.

Richland County Government is also prepared to tap into emergency funds, if necessary.

Residents who choose to avoid public areas are reminded that payments, including business license renewals, to the County can be made online here. 

For more information from the CDC on the coronavirus, click here

For more information from SCDHEC on the coronavirus, click here

For all coverage on the coronavirus, click here.

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