City of Charleston staff don’t anticipate getting out of Phase II ‘anytime soon’

Updated: Sep. 3, 2020 at 4:13 AM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Several staff members with the City of Charleston met virtually with hospital and DHEC officials on Wednesday morning to talk about the COVID-19 outlook in the city.

“We can see that, we’ve got a couple of yellow items on our dashboard, which means that we don’t move forward to the next phase until they are showing green for 14 to 21 days,” Chief Innovation Officer for the City of Charleston Tracy McKee said as she presented the data.

The city has a dashboard that offers information about case numbers, percent positive, PPE supplies and data in individual zipcodes.

“The live dashboard that we really driving everything that we are doing, and our decision-making internally in the city,” McKee said.

The City of Charleston is in the “yellow” for new cases per 1000 in past 7 days, PCR test results and social distancing enforcement. The enforcement metric is determined by calls to the police department and livability department and resulting citations related to social distancing ordinances.

“Our seven-day growth rate has been on the rise,” McKee added. “It’s still less than 1%, which still keeps that in the green using our stoplight approach, but over the last seven days compared to the previous seven days, we’ve seen a 46 percent increase in the number of new cases.”

She says she doesn’t anticipate the city going into Phase III anytime soon.

“This kind of highlights why,” she said while showing a slide with start dates for colleges and schools in the Charleston-area as well as Labor Day weekend.

“I think what we are seeing happening in Colombia is alarming,” McKee said about the spike in students cases. “Those are things that are on our radar that we’re thinking about. And we’re of course talking to the all the local colleges and universities.”

In Phase II, the city says gatherings should not exceed 10 people. Phase III would bump that up to 25 person-gatherings. You can read more about what changes you could see in Phase III by clicking: here.

In the meeting, she also announced three active COVID-19 cases among city staff. Since the beginning of the pandemic 120 staff members have tested positive for the virus.

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