South Carolina beaches fill, but COVID-19 takes no vacation
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. — People are flocking to South Carolina’s beaches for vacation after being cooped up by COVID-19 for months.
But the coronavirus is still out there.
In fact, South Carolina now has the fourth-highest new infection rate in the nation when adjusted for population, trailing just Arizona, Arkansas and Alabama.
One hot spot is around Myrtle Beach, which has seen COVID-19 cases jump from less than 300 at the start of June to nearly 1,600.
And that only counts residents of Horry County, not visitors who get the virus on vacation.
Visitors like more than a dozen Ohio high school students who tested positive for COVID-19 after returning from a trip to Myrtle Beach.
Robert Sproul, the administrator of the Belmont County Health Department in Ohio, said 91 high school students from the Ohio/West Virginia area recently visited Myrtle Beach on vacation.
Of the 45 students on the Ohio side, 14 have tested positive for COVID-19 since coming back from the Grand Strand around June 14, Sproul said. H
e added the rest are currently being tested.
Sproul said cases in Belmont County had been trending down to one a day, or sometimes no new cases reported in a day.
“And then this weekend happened,” he said.
Officials in several counties in West Virginia said they have clusters of cases linked back to travel to Myrtle Beach. One county went as far as to say anyone who’s traveled to Myrtle Beach should self-isolate and get tested for the virus.
Many entrepreneurs in Myrtle Beach fear more infections could result in bad publicity that hurts business.
From reports by WMBF and The Associated Press