NEWS

West Columbia moves toward post-COVID

The City of West Columbia’s face covering mandate expired on May 1. A day later, the Gervais Street Bridge Dinner was held and more than 1,000 attended. Five days after the Bridge Dinner, Art on State drew a large crowd for music, shopping and outdoor celebration.  (Feature photo Art on State by Kelli Ricard – City of West Columbia)

Bridge Dinner a day after mask mandate expired

While caution is still being practiced, all indications are that West Columbia is moving past the COVID crisis. “It’s so nice to see you all in person,” said West Columbia Mayor Tem Miles at Monday’s special city council meeting. 
The City of West Columbia held its first in-person council meeting, since July 2020, on May 4.   

On Monday, Miles also encouraged vaccinations as a part of the process to “get back to normal as soon as possible.”In South Carolina, about 3.3 million have received the COVID vaccine, according to the SC department of Health and Environmental Control. 

Lexington Medical Center has COVID-19 vaccines available. Anyone age 12 and older is eligible. Children ages 12-15 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

There is a Vaccine Clinic Location at Brookland Baptist Church, 1066 Sunset Blvd.
West Columbia.  Vaccine clinic hours are Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. (closed from 12 p.m. – 1 p.m.) and Sunday, 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. Walk-ins are welcome. Appointments are not required.
If you want to schedule a specific appointment time, call (803) 739-3363 or complete and online  request form at: https://lexmed.wufoo.com/forms/q1ov9jyg1n5et64/

Also, Lexington Medical Center has reopened its facilities to patients who had postponed procedures because of COVID. The hospital still has COVID safety precautions in place, including face masks and social distancing. 

Lexington Two students – masks not required

There are several Lexington District Two Schools in West Columbia. Last week it was announced that Lexington Two students and employees could exempt themselves from wearing a face covering. 

Lexington Two Superintendent Dr. Nicolas Wade  said in a letter that due to the policy of the SC Department of Education, Lexington Two is eliminating its mask mandate with a condition. “Students who submit a DHEC exemption form signed by their parents or legal guardian to their home school’s office can opt out of wearing a mask or face covering at school,” the letter read.  A mask exemption has also been implemented for Lexington Two employees and visitors. 

The state has ended mask requirements, too. 

On May 11, SC Gov. Henry McMaster issued an executive order that prohibits any county or local governments in the state from relying on prior orders or a state of emergency as the basis for a local mask mandate. McMaster said the COVID-19 vaccine is readily available and COVID case numbers are dropping.

He said the state has made “great progress” in its fight against COVID. 

Should the frequency of COVID continue to decline, expect to see more events and social gatherings as West Columbia moves back to pre-COVID normalcy.