March 25, 2020
COVID-19 Update #10
As a reminder, all the island entities are working together as a part of the Kiawah Island Emergency Management team and are in ongoing communication regarding response in the community.
There is no new information to report from the Tri-County conference call with the Charleston County Emergency Management Department. The number of cases in South Carolina has increased, and more cases are expected. Thirty-six (36) cases have been confirmed in Charleston County.
Today, Town Council held a special call meeting and passed an emergency ordinance to temporarily suspend normal operating procedures during the state of emergency. Many of the procedures adopted this morning were already being practiced. The meeting replay is available at https://youtu.be/2zkYPW8bJas
The most significant change was the passing of a moratorium prohibiting short-term rental license holders from accepting new reservations for a short-term rental stays (defined as less than 30 consecutive days) with check in days from March 25 through April 15, 2020.
The ordinance does not apply to existing reservations or extension of existing reservations, nor were any regulations made regarding refund policies. Refund policies will continue to be handled at the discretion of the short-term rental license holder.
Rental properties are not currently prohibited from accepting new reservations after April 15, 2020, but were instructed to make patrons aware that those reservations could be subject to cancellation if the ordinance is extended.
Any property found in violation of the short-term rental moratorium (Municipal Code Ordinance Section 14-507), will be subject to fines or suspension of their rental license. The full ordinance is available here.
The Town continues to stress the importance of following guidance from local public health experts to slow the spread of COVID-19. Our best defense is to follow the recommended personal hygiene and social distancing guidelines urged by DHEC and CDC.
Other New Information
- A copy of this educational flyer is being distributed at the main gate to non-property owner guests.
- The Town’s annual shredding event has been postponed until further notice.
- The State Accommodations Tax (SATAX) meeting has been postponed. The application deadline will be extended. Details will be provided later.
- Kiawah Island Beach Patrol is monitoring the beach and regulating public congregation guidelines as well as enforcing all Town ordinances. Sheriff’s Office Deputies and Code Enforcement are present on the island and are regulating public congregation guidelines as well as enforcing all Town ordinances. Violators will be ticketed.
- Anyone experiencing problems with rental properties or ordinance violations should report them to the 24-hour hotline at 843-259-2137 or through the online submittal form.
- Beachwalker County Park is closed until further notice.
- Harris Teeter is offering senior hours for individuals 60 years and older every Monday and Thursday from 6 a.m.– 7 a.m. Senior discounts will only be applied on Thursday, as usual. Patrons should designate one person in your party to grocery shop alone to help limit the number of shoppers in the store. Current hours of operation are from 7 a.m. – 8 p.m. daily.
- The Kiawah Island Golf Resort and Kiawah Partners have made changes to their operations. KIGR temporarily closed all operations at The Sanctuary (indoor and outdoor pools, beach access, spa) with plans to reopen on April 6. KP temporarily closed the pools and pool decks at The Beach Club, The Marsh House, and The Sports Pavilion.
- Municipal Center lobby hours have been suspended. Staff remains available during regular business hours Monday – Friday (8 a.m.-5 p.m.) but operations will largely be conducted virtually. Phones are being monitored and transferred to staff that are working remotely. More information
- Kiawah Island Utility’s office is closed to walk-in traffic. Staff is operating on flex scheduling.
- Freshfields Village merchant and restaurant operations will be updated here.
- The Charleston County Citizens Information Line is operational from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 843–746–3900.
- The Coastal Crisis Chaplaincy is available at 843-724-1212. Residents can call the 24-hour answering service to arrange to speak to the Chaplain on duty.
- FEMA has set up a website for Coronavirus Rumor Control and it is available here.
Residents can expect the next communication tomorrow by 5 p.m. If there is breaking news, we will release that information before our scheduled communication.
Dining and Grocery Delivery
Information on local restaurants offering delivery, curbside pickup, or grocery delivery service is available here.
Current data shows, older adults who have severe underlying chronic medical conditions (heart or lung disease or diabetes) are at higher risk for developing serious complications from COVID-19.
Individuals that fall into this group should contact their healthcare provider early, even if they are experiencing mild symptoms.
- If you develop any of the symptoms associated with the virus (fever, cough, shortness of breath) or have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19, call your primary care physician first or use virtual care services.