Daily Archives: 01/12/2021

Pickens Rec spring volleyball and soccer signups underway

PICKENS — Spring soccer and volleyball registration is being taken now through Jan. 29 at the Pickens Recreation Center on Sangamo Road in Pickens.

Financial assistance is available for those who qualify and will only be taken the first three weeks of the registration period, Jan. 4-22.

In soccer, the following coed age divisions are offered: 5-6, 7-8, 9-10 and 11-12. Depending on size of

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leagues, the 9-10 and 11-12 divisions may have to be combined.

In spring volleyball, the following age divisions are offered: 7-9, 10-12, 13-14 and 15-17.

Following registration, a skills/evaluation day will be held for each age division. The registration fee provides a jersey to be kept. The fee is $45 for in-city residents and $55 for out-of-city residents. Birth certificates are required at registration. Birthdate cut-off used is Sept. 1, 2020.

Anyone interested in coaching or who needs additional information is asked to call the recreation department at (864) 878-2296.


Duke Foundation, Trout Unlimited chapter join forces

MOUNTAIN REST — In an effort to reduce visitor impact in the Burrells Ford area of the Sumter National Forest, the Chattooga River Chapter of Trout Unlimited initiated a grant with the Duke Energy Foundation to erect four new informational kiosks in the area.

The kiosks provide information to visitors about the designated wilderness area, the Chattooga Wild and Scenic River and Leave No Trace principles. Burrells Ford is the gateway to the Ellicott Rock Wilderness and

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Clements: Weekly testing at Clemson this semester

By Jason Evans
Staff Reporter

CLEMSON — Clemson University students and employees will be tested often for COVID-19 during the spring semester.

Clemson University president Jim Clements discussed the pandemic and students’ return to campus in an update issued last week. Clemson’s spring semester began Jan. 6.

“As I shared previously, we plan to offer more in-person classroom opportunities this semester, while still keeping our focus squarely on providing a safe environment for our students, faculty and staff,” Clements said.

University officials are closely monitoring South Carolina’s COVID-19 situation, Clements said.

“Although the development of multiple vaccines brings great hope, we expect the new few months to remain challenging,” he

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Legislator out of hospital after emergency surgery

By Greg Oliver
Courtesy The Journal

CLEMSON — South Carolina House District 3 Rep. Jerry Carter of Clemson, who underwent emergency colon surgery last week, is back at home.

“Jerry was released from the hospital (Sunday) and is recovering at home,” his wife, Karen Carter, said on Monday. “He still has some recovery time ahead of him.”

Karen Carter added that her husband, who is expected to miss

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COVID vaccine coming for vets

The COVID vaccine is currently being distributed to 37 VA locations around the country. The logistics to move 300 million doses to where they need to be (Operation Warp Speed) are overwhelming, but the Department of Veterans Affairs has plans in hand for us.

The first thing to remember is that you likely won’t be first in line to get the vaccine. Until you get the two shots (spaced weeks apart), your job is to stay healthy. Just because you get the first shot doesn’t mean you’re in the clear. And depending how things are going in your area, you’ll likely need to keep wearing a mask

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Past time to circle the wagons

We stood in line for early voting in November at the county administration building and listened people loudly voicing their support for Donald Trump. I particularly remember this remark: “He’s a little rough around the edges, but he’s done some good

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Courier Obituaries 1-13-21

True public servant Oliver Nealy passes away at age 85


PICKENS — Oliver A. Nealy, 85, husband of Dianne Essig Nealy, went home to be with his Lord and Savior on Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021.

Oliver was born in Pickens, a son of the late J.A. “Bunk” and Nathalee Sammons Nealy. He was a 1954 graduate of Pickens High School, where he played on the 1952 state championship football team. After graduation from Toccoa Falls College and his marriage to Dianne, he stayed in Toccoa and took over facilities management of the college and even served as fire chief of the college.

In 1969, the Nealys returned to Pickens and he joined the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office when Sheriff David Stone was

South Carolinians 70 and older can schedule vaccine appointments beginning this week

COLUMBIA — Gov. Henry McMaster and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) announced that beginning Wednesday, Jan. 13, any South Carolina resident aged 70 or older, regardless of health status or preexisting conditions, can begin

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scheduling their appointment to receive COVID-19 vaccine.

Based on COVID-19 vaccine data — doses received, administered, and appointments scheduled — South Carolina officials are confident the majority of people in Phase 1a who want to be vaccinated have either received their shots or have scheduled appointments to do so. There are currently 146,500 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in the state, with 82,266 total doses already administered (a 56 percent utilization rate) plus 94,926 appointments scheduled by Phase 1a individuals to receive their vaccine over the next several weeks.

Additional steps to expedite access to additional South Carolinians will be made based on the use of the vaccine, the number of appointments made, and information on vaccine supply.

“Because we’ve seen a dramatic acceleration in vaccine usage and appointments in the last week, we have decided to speed things up again,” said Gov. Henry McMaster. “We know that those 70 and older are at the greatest risk of dying from COVID-19. Making sure they have expedited access to the vaccine will help save lives.”

“While COVID-19 vaccine is currently limited in South Carolina, like it is in all states, our providers continue to receive ongoing weekly shipments of vaccine from the federal government,” said Dr. Brannon Traxler, DHEC Interim Director of Public Health. “When evaluating supply versus demand and as the rate of vaccines coming into the state increases compared to the rate of appointments being scheduled, we believe it is appropriate to begin scheduling appointments for additional South Carolinians. Based on current data, the mortality rate from COVID-19 for those 70 and older in South Carolina is approximately 655 deaths per 100,000 individuals. For those under the age of 70, there are approximately 37 COVID-19 deaths per 100,000 individuals. This is a staggering comparison and illustrates why vaccinating this population next is critically important in our mission to save lives.”

More than 67 percent of COVID-19 deaths in South Carolina have been among those 70 and older.

It’s estimated there are roughly 627,800 South Carolinians aged 70 or older in South Carolina, with many already receiving their vaccine through other Phase 1a eligibility.

What to Know

• Beginning Wednesday, Jan. 13, any South Carolina resident who’s at least 70 years old can schedule their appointment for receiving vaccine

• Vaccine can only be administered by appointment — you can’t walk into a health care facility and ask for vaccine

• Residents will be asked to provide a driver’s license or other form of ID at their appointment that confirms their age and, therefore, their eligibility to receive vaccine

• Individuals eligible to receive vaccine can schedule an appointment using this online resource or by calling the DHEC Care Line at 1-855-472-3432 which currently includes several major hospitals, seven DHEC sites, a DHEC mobile clinic, and 12 Doctor’s Cares locations. An additional 50 locations will be added to this list and available to provide vaccine by the beginning of next week.

• As long-term care facility residents and staff continue to receive their Moderna vaccine through the federal Long-Term Care program, the state can soon redirect some Moderna vaccine from that program and make it available to others

• South Carolina is committed to making the limited supply of COVID-19 available to rural and unserved communities who have residents currently eligible to receive vaccine. This is occurring through:

o an increased number of DHEC mobile clinic locations, where DHEC can bring the vaccine to communities without nearby locations offering vaccine

o working with the South Carolina Vaccine Advisory Committee, Office of Rural Health, Office of Minority Affairs, South Carolina Hospital Association, South Carolina Medical Association, and other state and local partners to establish vaccine provider locations to rural and underserved communities

o continuing to educate and inform rural, minority, and non-White communities about the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccine

• The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine requires two shots separated by 21 days. The Moderna vaccine requires two shots separated by 28 days. You need to receive both shots of the same product; vaccine brands are not interchangeable.

• Both shots are needed for complete protection against COVID-19. After receiving both shots, the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are 94-95 percent effective in preventing disease.

• Individuals will receive a vaccine card after receiving their first shot, reminding them when their second shot is due. Most providers are also issuing second-dose appointment reminders to patients by way of phone calls, emails or text messages.

• Getting vaccinated is one of many steps you can take to protect yourself and others from COVID-19. Protection from COVID-19 is critically important because for some people, it can cause severe illness or death.

• Stopping a pandemic requires using all the tools available. Vaccines work with your immune system so your body will be ready to fight the virus if you are exposed. Other steps, like masks and physical distancing, help reduce your chance of being exposed to the virus or spreading it to others.

As the worldwide pandemic and vaccine distribution continue to be quickly evolving situations, South Carolinians are reminded to stay updated by following trusted, verified sources for the latest information. DHEC continues to hold at least twice-weekly updates to our state’s media outlets as part of ongoing efforts to provide the most current information available. For the latest COVID-19 vaccine information, visit


Learn more about the effects of pandemics

Much of the globe was introduced to an assortment of new terms throughout 2020. Phrases like “social distancing” or “flatten the curve” were commonly used, but these were all preceded by the utterance of the word “pandemic.”

What is a pandemic?

The World Health Organization defines a pandemic as a “worldwide spread of a new disease.” The word pandemic comes from the Greek words “pan” (meaning “all”) and “demos” (“people”). When a new disease emerges, most people lack the natural immunity to fight off illness, so the disease can

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What is herd immunity?

Infectious diseases can strike at any time. Some of them cause relatively minor interruptions to daily life and often can resolve of their own accord when the body’s immune system mounts a successful defense. Other diseases can cause serious, even life-threatening symptoms or spread rapidly, which makes it essential for medical professionals to help slow down or stop the transmission.

What is herd immunity?

Herd immunity is a term that often arises in relation to infectious diseases. Herd immunity has

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