COVID-19 Update October 2020

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) noted on Wednesday that COVID-19 cases in South Carolina and Sumter have plateaued. Analysis by SCDHEC has shown that the areas of the state that have mask ordinances have a lower rate of new cases than those who do not. The agency also advised that it expects a surge in cases in the colder months ahead.

The City of Sumter’s facial covering ordinance, first adopted in July 2020, is still in effect through November 5, and could be extended. According to the SCDHEC website Sumter’s positive testing rate was at 30 percent in July; today that rate has dropped to 10.4 percent.  Also, Sumter was among the “top ten” counties for “cases per 100,000 population” in July; as of today, Sumter is at twenty-second.

“The best epidemiologists in the world are here in our country; and they say masks are essential to driving down spread of the virus,” stated Mayor Joe McElveen. “If it helps protect the wearer and protects the general public, we should keep it up and encourage our family, friends and associates to do the same. Let’s continue to show that we care about each other in Sumter.”

At an event in Columbia this week, Dr. Robert Redfield, head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said what happens over the next three, four months is in the hands of the American public. “If every one of us embraced face coverings, social distancing, hand washing, and crowd control, we all did that, we would really control this pandemic. We wouldn’t eliminate it, but we would bring it back under control within six to 12 weeks.”

The Mayor encourages everyone to continue to wear masks, practice distancing, wash their hands often, and please respect your fellow community members and understand that each one faces their own challenges with this virus. “If we do this consistently over the next few months, we should have fewer COVID-19 cases, and we might even have a lower impact from influenza,” stated McElveen.

For more updates and a copy of the city’s facial ordinance please visit the City of Sumter’s COVID-19 Updates webpage at

Thank you. 

Mayor Joe McElveen