COVID-19 | Update #13
The COVID-19 pandemic remains an evolving situation. The City of Isle of Palms, in coordination with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Charleston County Emergency Management Division, the Town of Mt. Pleasant and the Town of Sullivan's Island, continues to monitor the rapidly emerging outbreak of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and prepare for potential impacts.
As of today, the total number of people confirmed to have COVID-19 in South Carolina are 2,792, and those who have died 67. Four confirmed cases are on the Isle of Palms.
In light of the unprecedented worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, the City is taking temporary actions to reduce operational expenses in response to the projected impact and decrease in tourism related revenues. City Administration has implemented a hiring freeze of all non-essential positions and non-essential part time employment has been suspended. Additionally, all non-essential expenses for the remainder of FY20 will be eliminated and essential expenses are subject to the City Administrator's approval.
Although City Hall, the Recreation Center and other administrative offices are closed to the public until further notice, all essential services are still available virtually by telephone and email. Please expect some delays in response as staff are working staggered office schedules and may be working remotely.
The Isle of Palms Police Department is fully operational; managing the access restrictions and the checkpoint at the end of the IOP Connector between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m., enforcing the Governor's Executive Orders and the City's Emergency Ordinances, and responding to calls for service.
The Isle of Palms Fire Department continues to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic. The Department is fully staffed, responding to calls for service and ready to provide assistance to the community. The Public Works Department continues providing garbage and yard debris collections services on a normal schedule.
All City employees are taking extra safety precautions and following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's guidelines to reduce the risk of spread among employees, maintain a healthy work environment and operations.
City staff, along with the Chair of Ways and Means, have been leading multiple strategy and planning meetings about the economic forecast of the COVID-19 pandemic in our community. The biggest impact to the City is expected to be the projected decline in tourism related revenues. The City's financial position is strong, and the City is able to meet current financial obligations. The City has healthy unrestricted fund balances should they be necessary; however, the City will need to adjust expenses and defer projects to mitigate the decline in tourism revenues. Staff has identified expenses that could be eliminated, reduced and/or deferred in anticipation of the negative impact the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to have on the City's finances.
City staff is actively reviewing and updating the FY 21 (July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021) draft budget and making proposed adjustments for Council's consideration. The Ways and Means Committee will hold a special virtual meeting on Thursday, April 16, 2020 at 4:00 p.m. The public may view the virtual meeting which will be live streamed on the City's YouTube account.