COLUMBIA, SC (WMBF) – Gov. McMaster has rescinded part of his mandatory evacuation order for medical facilities in South Carolina, including hospitals in Horry and Georgetown counties.
Gov. McMaster partly rescinded the executive order during a news conference Friday afternoon, stating that medical facilities in Horry, Georgetown, Dorchester, Berkeley and Charleston counties do not need to evacuate. The evacuation order for facilities in Beaufort, Jasper, and Colleton counties still stands.
South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster ordered the evacuation of medical facilities along the state's coast beginning at 2 p.m. Thursday ahead of Hurricane Irma.
The original order included medical facilities in Horry and Georgetown counties, such as hospitals, nursing homes, substance abuse centers and others.
According to a press release, facilities in the following counties and evacuation zones were set to began evacuations Thursday:
- Beaufort - all zones
- Charleston - zones A,B,C
- Dorchester - zones B,D,E,F
- Berkeley - zones B,G
- Colleton - zones A,B
- Jasper - zones A,B
- Georgetown - zones A,B
- Horry - zones A,B
As of now, residential evacuations have not been ordered. McMaster indicated that if coastal evacuations across South Carolina do take place, they will happen Saturday at 10 a.m.
Following McMaster's announcement Thursday afternoon, Tidelands Health released a statement saying they have applied for waivers that would allow Tidelands Georgetown Memorial Hospital and Tidelands Waccamaw Community Hospital to remain open throughout Irma.
At this time Tidelands hospitals and outpatient locations are open and operating normally, according to the statement. On Friday, the hospital announced they were granted waivers from the medical evacuation at their Tidelands Waccamaw Community Hospital, the Tidelands Georgetown Memorial Hospital, and the Tideland Waccamaw Rehabilitation Hospital.
"We're thankful for the opportunity to continue caring for our patients and the community," said Gayle Resetar, chief operating officer for Tidelands Health. "As a critical component of our region's safety net, it's important we're here for people, whatever the weather may bring."
The health system stated that "shelter in place" is the best option for Tidelands Health patients, as many have complex medical needs.
"Based on all the information we have available to us, sheltering in place is the best decision for our patients," Dr. Richmond said. "It is consistent with our mission and the right thing for our community."
Grand Strand Medical Center:
Julie Kopnicky, spokesperson for Grand Strand Medical Center, said hospital officials have applied to the state to shelter in place, to remain open and "continue to care for our community through Hurricane Irma."
The hospital did the same thing during Hurricane Matthew in 2016, according to Kopnicky.
Conway Medical Center:
Julie Rajotte, with Conway Medical Center, said the hospital will not have to evacuate, but will have to show that they have the ability to be self-sustaining for a number of days.
Hurricane Irma is expected to impact South Carolina early next week.