In just a few months, the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis changed nearly every aspect of our lives. As we all adjust to the “new normal” together, the Steinberg Law Firm is committed to helping our staff, clients, and community stay healthy and safe in South Carolina.
We understand how much the disruption created by the coronavirus pandemic has impacted the lives of South Carolinians and how challenging it is to keep up with the rapidly changing information and guidelines. Schools and nonessential businesses were ordered to close and stay-at-home orders were issued. While these measures are essential to slowing the spread of this disease, they are not easy to deal with.
The Steinberg Law Firm is dedicated to helping in any way possible during these difficult times. Below we have compiled a list of resources that may be helpful for you and your family.
General Coronavirus Information
COVID-19, also known generally as the coronavirus, is a new type of coronavirus that is easily transmissible and potentially serious. Some people who contract the coronavirus experience no symptoms, known as asymptomatic, but are still able to spread the virus to others. Other people who contract the coronavirus experience serious respiratory and other symptoms, some are hospitalized, and in the most extreme cases, the disease is fatal.
The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) maintains a website with general information regarding coronavirus disease in South Carolina. Check scdhec.gov/COVID-19 for updates and links to other resources including Frequently Asked Questions and Education and Outreach Materials.
To see the number of cases of COVID-19 in South Carolina and other information on testing and case projections, visit SC Testing Data & Projections. This site is updated daily to reflect current data.
How COVID-19 Spreads
Scientists are still trying to understand the details of coronavirus disease, but it appears the disease spreads easily between people, even those who do not feel ill. The coronavirus is believed to transmit mainly through close contact with infected individuals. The respiratory droplets of people carrying the coronavirus are spread to others through coughs and sneezes. The virus may live on surfaces as well.
Learn more from the CDC on how COVID-19 Spreads.
Protecting Yourself and Your Family
The CDC and South Carolina DHEC recommend taking a few basic measures to protect yourself and others from infection:
- Practice social distancing by staying home as much as possible, avoiding groups of people, and staying at least six feet away from people when in public.
- Wear a face mask when outside the home. A homemade fabric face covering will offer some protection to people around you and will help keep you from touching your face.
- Wash your hands frequently and for at least 20 seconds each time.
- Stay home if you are feeling sick.
- Disinfect frequently touched surfaces.
High-Risk Groups for Coronavirus
Although most people experience mild symptoms, some individuals are at higher risk of having a severe case of COVID-19. These include:
- Individuals age 65 or older
- Those with underlying health conditions such as heart disease and diabetes
- Those who are immunocompromised
- Pregnant women
- People with asthma or other respiratory conditions
- People with HIV infections
Learn more here: At-Risk Groups
What to Do If You Feel Sick
If you are feeling ill, it is important to stay home and monitor your symptoms. Fever, cough, and shortness of breath are classic symptoms of coronavirus. Many people recover COVID-19 at home without medical intervention, but some will have serious complications. Seek immediate medical attention if you have trouble breathing, persistent chest pain or pressure, lethargy (constant tiredness), or blueish lips and face.
See more here: What to Do If You Feel Sick
Mental Health Resources
The coronavirus pandemic has understandably caused stress and anxiety for many people. Mental health is as important as physical health. To protect your emotional wellbeing, try to:
- Practice healthy habits, such as well-balanced meals, adequate sleep, and exercise
- Avoid drugs and alcohol
- Take breaks from stressful news coverage and other forms of media that can be upsetting, such as social media and television
- Connect with loved ones while still observing social distancing
- Relax and take time to enjoy hobby activities
- Reach out for help if you are struggling, many services are offering telehealth or phone options for those who are in crisis or need mental health care
See more here: Mental & Emotional Health
Resources for Families
There is no household in South Carolina untouched by COVID-19 in some way. Schools have closed and students are now learning at home. Millions are out of work across the country while others now face considerable risk by going to work at a job deemed essential. For information on dealing with these changes and tips for preparation and prevention, see Resources for Your Home & Community and CDC Community and School Resources.
Financial Resources and Assistance
Federal and state governments enacted relief legislation to addresses the financial hardships many are experiencing while being out of work.
Student debt and federal loans will automatically be placed in administrative forbearance, meaning no payments will be required until September 30, 2020.
- COVID-19 Student Loan Information
- Contact Student Loan Servicers
- SC Tax Relief
- SC Mortgage Relief Assistance
- Coronavirus Tax Relief and Economic Impact Payments
- IRS "Get My Payment"
Domestic Violence Outreach
Stay-at-home orders can be particularly problematic for those experiencing domestic violence. If you or a loved one are experiencing domestic violence, there are services that can help even during the coronavirus crisis. Visit the SC Department of Social Services for more information on available resources. In Charleston, Berkeley, and Dorchester counties, contact My Sister’s House at 1-800-273-4673 or www.mysistershouse.org and see their list of resources: Domestic Violence Resources.
Guidance for Healthcare Professionals
Healthcare professionals are on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis, which has created unprecedented changes and needs for them. See information from the South Carolina DHEC for healthcare professionals here: Guidance For Healthcare Professionals
Guidance for Travelers
Travel is being strongly discouraged but, if it is unavoidable, there are some CDC recommendations for safe travel. To learn more, read Guidance for Travelers.
Guidance for Businesses
Businesses have been hard hit with forced closures and limitations. Millions of unemployment claims have been filed in response to the crisis.
On April 7, 2020, Governor McMaster directed the temporary closure of Non-Essential businesses with Executive Order No. 2020-18. See what is considered a non-essential business here: Non-Essential Business Listing
- Business Resources from the South Carolina Department of Commerce
- Resources for Businesses & Employers from South Carolina DHEC
- Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers
- Information regarding paid leave
- Best Practices for Retail Food Stores, Restaurants, and Food Pick-Up/Delivery Services During the COVID-19 Pandemic Food Service Guidelines
- Small Business and Self-Employed Tax Center
- Small Business Guidance and Loan Resources
- Coronavirus Tax Relief for Businesses and Tax-Exempt Entities
Guidance for Consumers
The National Consumer Law Center has published a growing list of resources for families to help with their financial situation during the pandemic. You can see the resources designed to help consumer protection during the COVID-19 pandemic.
South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation
The SC LLR is extending the license renewal deadline for licenses, registrations, and permits scheduled to renew during the months of April, May, June, July, and August. The new renewal deadline is extended to September 30, 2020.
State Specific Information and Resources
To see a list of Executive Orders from Governor McMaster, see here.
South Carolina Court Updates and Resources
On April 3, 2020, the Supreme Court of South Carolina issued a broad order altering the operation of all trial courts. The order, among other things, supplements and “significantly” alters current practices and procedures of trial courts.
Berkeley County operates a non-emergency Citizens Information Line from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. Call 843-719-4800 to ask questions related to COVID-19 and Berkeley County operations. More information on the information line here.
All Circuit Court motions and jury trials scheduled through May 1, 2020, are postponed pending further orders. All docket meetings, roll calls, Transfer Court, Grand Jury proceedings, and other large gatherings are postponed.
The Dorchester County Courthouse located at 5200 East Jim Bilton Boulevard in St. George and Family Court located at 212 Deming Way in Summerville are closed to the public. All courts and offices are available by phone and email, during normal business hours.