Latest Columbia News

A car turns in at a location for drive-thru COVID-19 testing at Prisma Richland Hospital on Friday, April 3, 2020, in Columbia, S.C. (AP Photo/Meg Kinnard)

Virus deaths at 40 in South Carolina; infections pass 1,900

Apr. 4, 2020 4:49 PM EDT

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina's death toll from the coronavirus has risen to at least 40, state health officials said Saturday. The state Department of Health and Environmental Control reported that confirmed infections statewide have exceeded 1,900. Charleston County had more than 270 confirmed...

Several members of the South Carolina House choose to practice social distancing and sit in the balcony on Thursday, March 19, 2020, in Columbia, S.C.. The House returned briefly to approve $45 million in emergency funds for state health officials to fight coronavirus.  (AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins)

Some Democrats say SC Legislature meeting is unsafe

Apr. 4, 2020 8:13 AM EDT

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina lawmakers are coming back to the Statehouse for a day next week, but not everyone is happy the Republican dominated House and Senate will be in session as the coronavirus spreads. “What kind of message are we sending when we try to get 170 legislators and staff...

Suspicious church fire under investigation in South Carolina

Apr. 3, 2020 11:29 AM EDT

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Federal officials are investigating a suspicious church fire in South Carolina. The blaze happened before midnight at Columbia's Whaley Street United Methodist Church on March 19. No one was injured during the fire. Investigators are now offering a $5,000 reward for information...

Republican Rep. William Herbkersman, R-Bluffton speaks to Rep. Beth Bernstein, D-Columbia as she practices social distancing in the South Carolina House on Thursday, March 19, 2020, in Columbia, S.C. The House returned briefly to approve $45 million in emergency funds for state health officials to fight coronavirus. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins)

SC House and Senate to come back for one day next week

Apr. 2, 2020 1:53 PM EDT

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The South Carolina House and Senate plan to return for one day next week with a limited agenda of passing a resolution allowing state government to continue to spend money if a new budget isn't passed by July 1. Both chambers then plan Wednesday to pass a resolution laying out what...

Deputies: Bulletproof vest charity CEO charged with rape

Apr. 1, 2020 6:33 PM EDT

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The founder of a charity that provides bulletproof vests for police departments who can't afford them was arrested and charged with incest and rape, authorities said. Michael Allan Letts sexually abused a relative from the time she was 10 until she turned 17, Richland County deputies...

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster listens as State Epidemiologist Linda Bell gives an update on the state’s response to the coronavirus at the South Carolina Emergency Operations Center in West Columbia, S.C., Thursday, March 26, 2020. McMaster said he is not ready to issue a stay at home order for the entire state because residents are following instructions on social distancing. (AP Photo /Jeffrey Collins)

SC health officials defend limited COVID-19 data release

Apr. 1, 2020 5:47 PM EDT

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — As businesses considered nonessential close across South Carolina to fight the coronavirus, state health officials are coming under increased scrutiny over information it isn't gathering or releasing about the spread of the virus. For a brief time last week, the Department of Health...

Ciera Brown with Roper St. Francis Healthcare prepares a specimen collection kit at the hospital's North Charleston office Monday, March 16, 2020, in North Charleston, S.C. Roper St. Francis Healthcare is providing drive-thru specimen collecting for patients suspected of having COVID-19 or flu who have already been screened by a Virtual Care provider. (AP Photo/Mic Smith)

2 SC prison employees but no inmates test positive for virus

Mar. 29, 2020 4:06 PM EDT

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Two state prison employees have tested positive for the coronavirus in South Carolina, but no inmates have been confirmed with the illness, the Corrections Department said. South Carolina reported almost 775 COVID-19 cases and 16 deaths since the outbreak started in the Department of...

The Latest: Michigan executive order restores water service

Mar. 29, 2020 12:33 AM EDT

The Latest on the coronavirus pandemic. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death. TOP OF THE HOUR: —Spain's deadliest day has over 800 deaths, over 8,000 news...

People drive through and pick up food at Harvest Hope Food Bank Wednesday, March 18, 2020, in Greenville, S.C. Harvest Hope helps low income families and senior citizens. (AP Photo/Richard Shiro)

S.C. cities defy state on restrictions as virus cases rise

Mar. 28, 2020 8:14 PM EDT

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina's governor is aiming to protect first responders during the new coronavirus outbreak, ordering that anyone calling 911 be asked if anyone near them has symptoms of COVID-19. In a new executive order issued Saturday, Gov. Henry McMaster required that 911 emergency...

In this March 26, 2020, Patrick Goodman cuts Keith Donaldson's hair at Creative Image barber shop in Columbia, SC. South Carolina's governor has not given a stay at home order closing non-essential businesses, but Columbia did pass an order, which will close Goodman's shop. (AP Photo /Jeffrey Collins).

Living outside lockdown: Barbers, beauty shops still open

Mar. 28, 2020 9:09 AM EDT

ELGIN, S.C. (AP) — With South Carolina's first coronavirus hot spot just a short jaunt up the highway, Johellen Lee hadn't been out for anything but groceries for nearly a month. “I looked like a hag,” she said. So she headed to see her best friend and hair stylist Erica Nealy at her beauty...