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Hilton Head, Bluffton ask for stay at home resolution

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HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. (WSAV) – Hilton Head Island town leaders are asking for a stay at home order from the governor — and they aren’t alone.

A Hilton Head Island Town Council letter is being sent to Governor Henry McMaster, asking for a 14-day stay at home order not just for Hilton Head, but for the entire state of South Carolina.

The town council officially approved their request at their virtual meeting Thursday.

Councilmembers say they are concerned about what the visitors to Hilton Head might bring with them, and how it could affect hospital services and medical care for the vulnerable population that is already living on the island.

“As they come on they bring whatever they might be carrying with them and we are exposing our residents to that,” said Councilwoman Tamara Becker. “So every day there is a delay is a day that we are taking a chance with our vulnerable population and our Island’s future.”

“There is no justification whatsoever to compromise public safety,” said Councilman Tom Lennox. “And I think this resolution is a very very effective and great first step toward making that happen.”

The Town of Bluffton has also drafted their own proclamation and sent that off to the governor’s office, asking for the same executive order.

“We are a town of being proactive,” explains Mayor Lisa Sulka. “Always trying to be in front of what may come. So how can we be somewhat ahead of it?

“Every person that calls or emails me asks me to send forth their plea to do this.”

The towns of Port Royal, Yemassee and Beaufort are also expected to ask for the same resolution from the governor.

At his news conference Thursday night, McMaster said he would do will do a stay at home policy “only if it becomes necessary.”

The Hilton Head Town Council says it wants an answer in the next 48 hours or else it could meet again Monday and make the “shelter at home” order for residents themselves early next week.

Sulka says her council will discuss that possibility but will not commit to making a local order.

Bluffton city leaders give updates to residents via Facebook Live on Friday:


Original story posted Wednesday, March 25:

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. (WSAV) – People on Hilton Head are being asked to stay home.

Mayor John McCann also said in a conference call Wednesday morning that anyone thinking of visiting the island should delay their trip.

In addition, the mayor asked all visitors who did come to the island from areas that have significant outbreaks to quarantine themselves for 14 days for the protection of the citizens who live here.

It’s a request similar to that of Governor Henry McMaster’s on Wednesday.

But Thursday, Hilton Head Town Council will vote on a resolution asking McMaster to issue a stay in place order for the entire state.

The resolution reads: “Consideration of a Resolution of the Town Council of Hilton Head Island calling upon Governor Henry McMaster to issue a mandatory Stay at Home Order for the State of South Carolina for such period of time as may be deemed necessary and appropriate by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control. “

“It is very difficult for the Town of Hilton Head to have an order like that on its own,” said McCann. “It would be greatly received and more enforceable. ‘Enforceable’ is the word if it came out of the governor’s office than out of anything else.”

“The sooner we put everyone in place and everyone at home and not circulating around, the sooner we can contain this on a state basis,” said McCann.

News 3 has learned that the towns of Bluffton, Beaufort and Yemassee also plan to draft similar resolutions to ask for a “stay in place” order from the Governor.

The specially called meeting for Hilton Head Island will be at 2 p.m. Thursday.

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