Tidelands Health to close some facilities during eclipse

Tidelands Health to close some facilities during eclipse

MURRELLS INLET, SC (WMBF) - The Great American Eclipse is bringing in visitors from all over to the region and Tidelands Health is making sure its hospitals are ready in case of an emergency.

Amy Stevens, vice president of marketing at Tidelands Health, said emergency planners estimate as many as one million or more people will be in South Carolina, which is a huge influx of visitors.

All Tidelands Health main hospitals will be open 24/7 on Monday afternoon, but Stevens said the 50 outpatient care locations across the region will be different.

"A lot of them are right on the main highways that people will be traveling on, so we didn't want to put our patients in a situation of having to get in that traffic," said Stevens.

Some of the outpatient locations will close down Monday afternoon and will extend their hours later in the week to accommodate.

"So we have two acute care hospitals in Georgetown County, Tidelands Waccamaw Community Hospital and Tidelands Georgetown Memorial Hospital, so we know we are the first line of defense for the community if there are issues with heat or exhaustion," Stevens said.

She added that it will be all hands on deck and employees are ready. Tidelands even ordered extra venom for the day.

"With snake bites, people may walk through high grass based on where they park and might not be thinking about it, and will be so excited looking up and might forget about those normal precautions," Stevens said.

Tidelands Health gave out a total of 80,000 glasses leading to the eclipse. The Murrells Inlet location will be in 99 percent totality and the in-patients also have solar eclipse glasses to participate in the fun if they're able.

"We are hopeful we are not needed, that everybody is well hydrated and take sun precautions and wear their glasses, and don't get their eyes damaged," Stevens said. "So our hope is it's a perfect, happy, healthy day for everybody."

Click here for the full list of schedule changes at the Tidelands Health outpatient locations.

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