Myrtle Beach coronavirus cases continue to rise, tourism similar to 2019 numbers
Despite being deemed a COVID-19 hot spot by state health officials, tourism season is still on in Horry County as the summer continues.
Data from Coastal Carolina University’s Clay Brittain Jr. Center for Resort Tourism shows similar hotel occupancy numbers between the first week of June this year and last year.
In 2019, the first weekend of June saw an average hotel occupancy rate of nearly 88 percent, while this year’s numbers stood at 89.5 percent.
Recent rising numbers of COVID-19 caused the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control to label Horry County a hot spot for coronavirus. The label also prompted the agency to allocate 500 additional tests at Saturday’s clinic with Tidelands Health in Myrtle Beach.
Doctors from Tidelands Health urge that now is the time to wear a mask in public and keep your distance of at least six feet from others. Experts also said it’s important to keep tracking the virus as more people venture outside.
“Going to other states, every state is having varying populations," said Dr. Sean Nyguen of Tidelands Health. "You’re basically going to a new area where you don’t know these people, and consolidating in these areas so, it’s definitely a risk that’s out there and you just have to be very cautious about it.”
He also said the number of cases isn’t going up just because of the large-scale testing, but the percentage of positive cases is increasing too.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also released guidelines for recently-reopened activities and travel.
Health officials recommend taking steps such as avoiding common areas when staying in hotels, wearing masks and using online check-in and reservation options if possible.