The City of West Columbia has taken the coronavirus very seriously. While the future impact of the virus is not certain, City of West Columbia leaders will remain vigilant to fight its effects.
“From the beginning we have done all we could to combat the coronavirus,” said West Columbia Mayor Tem Miles. “The city modified all of its departments and altered work schedules to limit contact.”
On Monday, the city extended its face covering ordinance as part of the effort to decrease the spread of COVID.
Miles said that data indicates a lower rate of the spread of the virus when masks are worn.
Since the coronavirus pandemic began, West Columbia has followed all public health recommendations from state officials, the SC Department of Health and Environmental Health and the Center for Disease Control.”We don’t know what the impact of the disease would have been if we would not have been vigilant,” Miles said.
The West Columbia Police Department also applied precautions as it dealt with the public.
“We made changes in an effort to reduce the risk of officers and the public spreading germs throughout the city,” said West Columbia Police Chief Dennis Tyndall.
“Working together during these unusual conditions, we can slow the spread of germs and help keep community members and officers safe and healthy.”
In forming the city’s policy, Miles and city council have also consulted with local healthcare officials, including Tod Augsburger, President and CEO of Lexington Medical Center.
When the City of West Columbia implemented its first mask ordinance, Augsburger told council that masks help stop the spread of COVID-19, and stopping the spread of the virus would increase the chances of getting back to school on a regular schedule.
Last week the Lexington Two School Board voted to return to five-day, in-person classes, Nov. 12, because the rate of COVID spread had decreased.
In addition to masks, West Columbia police officers ended as much face-to-face contact as possible, and implemented procedures so that city business could be done virtually or by phone.
The West Columbia Police Department also altered its operations and limited close contact situations as much as possible.
Police personnel also adjusted its response to certain calls for service in accordance with guidelines published by the governor’s office.
Non-emergency calls for service related to incidents were handled by a telephone call from an officer instead of an in-person meeting.In addition to police, the city’s sanitation crews have altered their procedures to limit contact with the public.
With the coronavirus still an issue, the City of West Columbia will not become complacent. “We will continue to monitor its effect and confront the challenges as they come,” said Miles.