Red Cross: 27 people stay at Upstate shelter after severe storms destroy dozens of homes; cleanup starts

(file/FOX Carolina)

Greenville, SC (FOX Carolina) — The pandemic brings a new set of challenges for hurricane season this year.

“We have two situations happening at the same time,” South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster said.

As Hurricane Isaias makes its way toward the Carolinas both states are preparing for the storm.

“With the right protections and sheltering we can keep people safe from the storm, while at the same time, try to avoid making the pandemic worse,” North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said in a press conference Friday.

The pandemic has changed emergency response, from evacuations to operating shelters. 

American Red Cross said new guidelines are in place, “You’re going to be screened before you’re ever allowed into a shelter, so your temperature will be taken and you’ll be asked CDC approved questions,” Ben Williamson with American Red Cross of South Carolina said, “We’re going to ask anyone that comes to a shelter to bring a mask with them. If they do not have a mask we will provide one and we ask that they wear a face covering or mask while they’re inside our shelters.”

The Red Cross said shelters will operate at reduced capacity and social distancing guidelines will be in place.

“Capacity will be cut but we’re going to be opening up more shelters,” Williamson said, “We are going to reduce capacity so that we have more space for people to spread out. Our cots are going to be spaced at least 6 feet apart.”

There’s also a plan for those with COVID-19.

“If someone does develop symptoms while they’re in our shelter or if they come to a shelter and they have symptoms, we’ll have an isolation area setup so we are able to accommodate them,” Williamson said.

The Red Cross is in need of local volunteers during hurricane season. Find out more here.

Copyright 2020 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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