Local, Politics, Simpsonville

From the desk of the mayor

Simpsonville Mayor Paul Shewmaker

We’ve flattened the curve. Now I just wish we could see around the next bend. Uncertainty is the hardest thing of all. When will we get back to normal? Do we really have to face a new normal? So many questions and not enough answers. But, we’ve flattened the curve. We’re beginning to see significant easing in restrictions because of it.

Governor McMaster has assembled the AccelerateSC team to guide South Carolina in reopening and restarting the economy. DHEC is rapidly increasing testing and contact tracing. In fact, I have a good friend who volunteered and has already been trained to be a contact tracer. DHEC is currently on track to meet its target of testing 2% of the population by the end of the month. As of today, more than 60,000 tests have been conducted for the month of May. That’s great. It’s what we need to have confidence we can keep the curve flat and start going out to eat again. Longer term, and if it pans out very good news, Moderna, a biotech company, has announced preliminary success with a Covid-19 vaccine. There’s still a long way to go, but a successful vaccine could help us rewind back to the way things were before. Locally, Hillcrest  Hospital is back to normal inpatient services. They are admitting surgical patients and medical patients from the emergency department to their patient beds. And City Hall has re-opened for in person business, with proper social distancing of course. City parks are open with the exception of restrooms and playgrounds. We don’t have a good way to sanitize between users.

The Farmers Market has been open for a couple of weeks and is going gangbusters even though the tomatoes haven’t come in yet. Can’t wait to have some fresh tomatoes. City Council enacted a new emergency ordinance to continue allowing electronic meetings and for city staff to respond to virus concerns as needed. In the May business meeting we had our first reading of the new budget. The second and final reading will take place in June. The budget is conservative as we’re expecting reduced revenues because of the impact of Covid-19.

Don’t forget to complete your census if you haven’t done so already. Stay safe. Stay healthy. Thanks for listening. Now back to work.

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