Today, at a 4 p.m. press conference with representatives from Charleston County, the City of North Charleston and the Town of Mount Pleasant Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg gave the following remarks:
With the coronavirus now aggressively spreading across our state and region, we're here today with a simple message for our citizens -- stay home, stay distanced and stay smart.
Doctors tell us that the uncontrolled spread of Covid-19 would be nothing less than a death sentence for thousands of our friends and family members right here in the Lowcountry. And the only way to avoid that tragedy is for all of us to start following those three simple rules right now.
Number one, stay home -- and that means just what it says. If you don't have an essential reason to go out, don't go out. The life you save by avoiding that unnecessary trip could turn out to be yours or one of your loved ones. And as difficult as this is to say to our already suffering business owners, you as citizens have a critical role to play, too: If your business is not truly essential during this time, temporarily closing your doors or having your employees work from home now is a hard choice to make -- but it's infinitely better than the economic and social devastation that you and the rest of us will suffer if this virus gets out of control in our area.
Number two, stay distanced. Practicing good social distancing when we have to go out for essential trips to the grocery store or the pharmacy is the best medicine we have to protect ourselves and each other.
And finally, number three, stay smart. Wash your hands. Don't buy all the toilet paper at the grocery store. Don't believe every crazy Facebook rumor that's floating around. And whatever you do, don't go out if you have a cough and fever. That's when you have to self-quarantine immediately and go to MUSC's telehealth website at musc.care to get into the system for testing.
The choice facing our community today is simple.
If we follow these rules right now -- if we stay home, stay distanced and stay smart -- we can still avoid being a hotspot, like Italy or New York.
And if we don't follow these rules, we can spend the next few months watching funerals online -- literally, thousands of funerals -- because we won't be able to gather together even to say goodbye to our loved ones.
We're here today to ask our citizens to follow these rules and choose life.
The power is in all of our hands.