City of Sumter COVID-19 Update March 26, 2020, 11:30AM

As I write, Sumter now has 10 confirmed cases and one death related to the virus. My prayers and those of the Sumter community go out to those who are fighting to recover, and especially to the family of our neighbor who succumbed. Do not think that we “only” have 10; that’s just how many have been confirmed.

We know COVID-19 is in our community; there are most probably people with the virus who do not know it. Some of those will never be aware they had it. We must do all that we can to prevent its spread. Physical separation is the key to keeping this virus from spreading quickly across our community. While some are taking this seriously, many are not taking this seriously enough and we need to do better for the safety and welfare of our entire community. While the governor has not officially directed a “shelter in place,” citizens can and should follow this on their own. Please become educated on the science behind “flattening the curve.” Although Sumter is fortunate not to have a large number of cases so far, this is likely to change in the coming weeks. Prevention now means that if the worst happens, medical systems will not be overwhelmed and as many affected citizens as possible will have a fighting chance of beating the virus.

The City of Sumter is committed to keeping our community safe and healthy while still maintaining as many of our government services as we can. In an effort to do our part to reduce our community’s exposure to COVID-19, the city has closed all playgrounds and equipment, and all city offices are closed to public access until further notice. Citizens and businesses can still take care of government matters during this time, primarily by phone, email and the city’s online services at We will also be enforcing Governor McMaster’s order restricting gatherings of more than three persons together in one area.

Please remember our city employees in your thoughts and prayers as these folks continue to serve our community daily. Not only do we have police and firefighters protecting us around the clock, but we have maintenance crews with our water and sewer systems, sanitation workers carrying out their duties, crews keeping our parks open and tree limbs clear from danger, administrative staff who must work diligently to keep our financial systems healthy, with a new budget that is required to be balanced and approved by June 30, and many more essential operations. As we are doing all we can – separation, frequent cleaning, and the like – we ask our residents and citizens to do what you can too.

Remember, safety first, we are trying to strike a balance between letting citizens do what they need to get done but protecting our community from a massive spread of the virus. The next step is to severely restrict activity, so please abide by the President’s guidelines as well as those from Governor McMaster. Help your fellow man and support businesses as you can while practicing safe habits given to us by the CDC. Additionally, if you can donate to help our caring agencies and charities, please do.

We have created a dedicated page on the City’s website to access links to all of this important information on COVID-19, please visit

Thank you.

Mayor Joe McElveen