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The Town and Fire Rescue along with Emergency Services Agencies
across the country are monitoring the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation to protect the public's health.

update icon Latest Updates - January 19, 2021

An Update from Interim Town Manager Josh Gruber

Here's an update on what's happening around Town:

Distribution of and access to the COVID-19 Vaccine is changing rapidly. We know getting a vaccine is at the forefront of most people's mind. Over the weekend, local hospitals learned they would not receive their anticipated supply of vaccines this week due to a vaccine shortage currently underway in South Carolina. Thus, the hospitals have had to reschedule or cancel appointments for persons hoping to be inoculated this week. All providers as well as state and local leaders are asking the public to be patient as they work through the challenges of getting everyone vaccinated. This is a process that will take several months.

Here's what we know about vaccine availability and appointments:

Hilton Head Regional Healthcare
Hilton Head Regional Healthcare, which includes Hilton Head Hospital and Coastal Carolina Hospital, is working closely with state and local leaders to make the necessary adjustments, resulting in the cancellation of 300 vaccination appointments. Hospital staff is contacting impacted individuals directly to advise them of the cancellation and rescheduling process. Those individuals who are impacted will not need to take any additional action and will be prioritized for the hospitals' next allocation of vaccine from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC).

The hospitals' COVID Vaccine Information Call Center (843-689-7282) will remain open 7 days per week from 6 am to 6 pm should any questions arise regarding registration, appointments, and scheduling. You can also visit the hospital's website at for more information.

Beaufort Memorial Hospital
Beaufort Memorial Hospital is also impacted by the vaccine shortage and has had to cancel 6,000 appointments. The hospital is working on a plan to reschedule appointments based upon availability of the vaccine. The hospital's call center and vaccine e-mail account have been closed until further notice. Hospital officials ask that community members be patient and wait for further updates from the state and the hospital's vaccine coordinators. For more information, visit

Publix Pharmacy
Publix had announced availability of COVID-19 vaccine appointments at its pharmacies. All of those appointments were quickly claimed. Publix plans to announce additional appointments as it receives more inventory. Vaccination appointments are scheduled online only. Appointments cannot be made by calling Publix or the Publix Pharmacy. For more information, visit

SC Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) Vaccination Locator Map
DHEC has set up an online map at This online map shows the locations currently accepting appointments for COVID-19 vaccine. The map itself is not a way to schedule an appointment; it only provides the contact information for appointments at those locations. The map will be updated often so you will need to monitor it regularly for information.

If you have COVID-19 or vaccine related questions, please call the DHEC Care Line at 1-855-472-3432. You can also visit for the latest vaccine information. Here you will find extensive reporting on county-level information, demographics and more about coronavirus cases is available at The website is updated between 1 pm-3 pm weekdays and 11 am-1 pm weekends. You can also find case data on our website at

COVID-19 Hub Page
The COVID-19 Hub page on our website at contains links to information DHEC has compiled about COVID-19 cases, vaccines, the state's vaccine distribution plan, and the vaccine locator map.

COVID-19 Testing
Drive-thru testing for COVID-19 is available from 8 am to noon at Hilton Head Hospital (25 Hospital Center Blvd. on Hilton Head Island) and Coastal Carolina Hospital (1000 Medical Center Drive in Hardeeville). The test is free. No appointment or doctor's order is needed.

DHEC Seeking to Fill Critical Positions for its Vaccine Program
The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) has announced immediate openings of critical positions to support the state's robust COVID-19 vaccination, testing, and other core public health and environmental services. Available positions include nurses, pharmacists, paramedics, administrative support and other key personnel across the state.

DHEC anticipates hiring at least 150 staff who will assist with COVID-19 vaccination clinics. As the vaccine rollout quickly progresses in South Carolina, DHEC will need additional staff and that is why the agency is asking for assistance now.

Of the 150 positions available:

  • some are full-time, part-time, and hourly
  • pay varies by the job; currently seeking to fill positions ranging from $13 to $45/hr
  • many are statewide and some are county- or region-specific
  • some offer greater flexibility than others (e.g., hours, location, etc.)

If you are interested in applying to be part of a team with decades-long legacy of public service, If you have questions about available positions, please contact:
Patrice Witt, Interim Director of Talent Management, at or 803-898-1169; or Kenya Perez, Recruiting Manager, or 803-898-9095.

Town of Hilton Head Island Mask Ordinance
Discussion of extending the Town of Hilton Head Island's mask ordinance for another 61 days is part of Town Council's meeting agenda today. If this Emergency Ordinance passes, it will go into effect on Wednesday and be in place through March 22nd. The Ordinance requires individuals to wear face coverings in certain circumstances and locations in the municipal limits of the Town.

Although the vaccine is now available, DHEC and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still encourage people to wear face coverings to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our communities and follow other precautions, including watching their distance and washing their hands frequently.

Other Town Meetings This Week:
Planning Commission Meeting
3 pm, January 20, 2021

Town Council Public Planning Committee
3 pm, January 21, 2021

Meeting agendas are available online at Meetings are being conducted virtually and can be viewed live on the Town's Public Meeting Facebook Page at Following the meeting, the video record will be made available on the Town's website at

Town Council annual workshop planned for January 28th and 29th
The Hilton Head Island Town Council will gather for its annual strategic planning workshop from 9 am to 4 pm on Thursday, January 28th and Friday, January 29th, at the Westin Resort. Due to current COVID-19 protocol, capacity is limited to the members of Town Council, participating members of Town staff, and members of the news media.
The public, however, will be able the view the workshop in its entirety on the following platforms: Town of Hilton Head Island Public Meetings Facebook Page (, Beaufort County Channel (, Hargray channels 9 and 113, and Spectrum channel 1304. A detailed agenda for the two-day workshop will be posted to the Town's website prior to the session. For more information, contact Krista M. Wiedmeyer, Town Clerk, at 843-341-4701 or 843-384-7678.

Free Course on Business Continuity Planning
The Town's Emergency Management Division is partnering with the Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce to present a free one-day course on Business Continuity Planning on April 28, 2021. This course will provide the foundation for building a business continuity plan to help your business manage difficult situations or events that impact your business' ability to operate. The course will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Palmera Inn & Suites, 12 Park Lane. Lunch will be provided. Registration for the course is required through the Rural Domestic Preparedness Consortium website at The course number and title is "MGT 381: Business Continuity Planning." A FEMA Student Identification is required and can be obtained at Registration deadline is 5 pm, April 14. For more information regarding the course, contact Tom Dunn, Emergency Manager for the Town, at 843-247-3744 or

COVID-19 Update Presented to Town Council on December 1, 2020 by Jane Kelly, MD, Assistant State Epidemiologist for SC DHEC pdf icon