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Hilton Head Island status June 2020?

lisa3635

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Bumping this thread back up.
Looking forward to a week at Surfwatch in about a month. Curious what others are experiencing now at Marriott resorts and on the island in general. Things somewhat normal? Anybody wearing masks?

thanks for any updates!

We’re at Surfwatch right now. For the most part everyone is keeping their distance, virtually no one is wearing masks. I bet we’ve seen less than 5 people since Sunday wearing masks other than employees. Not too many people at the main pool. There was also an employee at the pool who kept wiping down the chairs. We’ve been avoiding restaurants because the 2 we went to Sunday to get carry out were not wearing masks. I’ve been to Kroger 2 times and very few people wearing masks, some of the employees aren’t even wearing them. Whole Foods is requiring masks I believe and a much better experience there.
 

nycjimster

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We are scheduled to visit in late August (August 30th). NY, NJ and CT just announced self-quarantine if you come back from certain areas with covid-19 outbreaks, including South Carolina. If this requirement is still in place by late August, we will likely cancel the trip. The upcoming vacation has kept me motivated in this work from home environment. This is a big downer.
 

JIMinNC

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Common sense potentially hitting HHI... Finally!

The challenge will be enforcement. A problem is that Hilton Head does not have a police force under their own control. They rely on the Beaufort County Sheriffs Department for law enforcement and the Beaufort County Sheriff has said in the past during the pandemic that he only follows directives from the Governor of SC. As I understand it, the legal opinion from the SC Attorney General says local municipalities have the authority to enact and enforce a local ordinance without an order from the Governor, but IF the Beaufort County Sheriff refuses to enforce the Hilton Head ordinance, the ordinance has no teeth, since Hilton Head has no enforcement authority of their own. That was the issue that kept the Town Council from enacting some restrictions on rentals and beach access earlier in the pandemic - they could only enact what they could enforce. When they closed the public beach access points prior to the Governor's order, their only enforcement was having town employees check parking lots that were signed as closed and tow any cars that were parked illegally. They had no one to issue citations or otherwise enforce it since the Sheriff refused.
 

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I feel it is my civic responsibility to wear a mask to protect myself, my family, my
friends and my fellow Americans. IMHO.

Thank you Pedro, and God bless you!!! .....I feel a reply is due and well-deserved. Well said, my friend.... You get it!!!!!!!
 

jme

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The challenge will be enforcement. A problem is that Hilton Head does not have a police force under their own control. They rely on the Beaufort County Sheriffs Department for law enforcement and the Beaufort County Sheriff has said in the past during the pandemic that he only follows directives from the Governor of SC. As I understand it, the legal opinion from the SC Attorney General says local municipalities have the authority to enact and enforce a local ordinance without an order from the Governor, but IF the Beaufort County Sheriff refuses to enforce the Hilton Head ordinance, the ordinance has no teeth, since Hilton Head has no enforcement authority of their own. That was the issue that kept the Town Council from enacting some restrictions on rentals and beach access earlier in the pandemic - they could only enact what they could enforce. When they closed the public beach access points prior to the Governor's order, their only enforcement was having town employees check parking lots that were signed as closed and tow any cars that were parked illegally. They had no one to issue citations or otherwise enforce it since the Sheriff refused.

Well, enforcement is always a problem, true, but it's a first step which is commendable. Maybe the Gov will allow the Town Council to have that authority when issuing pandemic-related directives, which then binds the Beaufort Co officers.
I think the HH Town Council should appeal to the Gov for that.
Regardless, those that hear about it and "get it" will comply, even if they don't get pulled over, and that too will be a small victory.

Hey, I got pulled over 5 years ago on Palmetto Bay Rd. by Beaufort Co for not having my seat belt on----I had just exited the Publix parking lot and neglected to buckle up. I always wear it, but in that stupid instance I didn't. And ever since I immediately buckle up. I don't forget it anymore.
I assure you, their lights on top are still BLUE and they work, lol !
So if they can pull over a few unmasked bandits, word will get out.
That's how that works.
You make a great point, but I still like the action taken....it's far better than sitting back and doing nothing.
How about a $10 fine and give that to the Island Employee's Pandemic Fund.......(I made that fund up, but it's a good idea, lol).
 
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tschwa2

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Businesses can require customers to wear mask for service. In terms of employees not wearing masks I almost feel like it should be like enforcement of tickets for the metro. There aren't a lot of checkers but if you do get caught the fee is $500+. I wish my state had a hotline to call if you see businesses not following the mask rule. I was in a resort area for the last two weeks in a state that does mandate mask and saw several food preparers not wearing mask or wearing it around their chin.
 

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We are scheduled to visit in late August (August 30th). NY, NJ and CT just announced self-quarantine if you come back from certain areas with covid-19 outbreaks, including South Carolina. If this requirement is still in place by late August, we will likely cancel the trip. The upcoming vacation has kept me motivated in this work from home environment. This is a big downer.
We're hoping to head down for 3 weeks Aug 29 and I couldn't have said it any better than you just did.
 

pedro47

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Wearing masks are just liked bucketing a seat belt in a vehicle. You do it for protection.
 

disneymom1

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We are scheduled to visit in late August (August 30th). NY, NJ and CT just announced self-quarantine if you come back from certain areas with covid-19 outbreaks, including South Carolina. If this requirement is still in place by late August, we will likely cancel the trip. The upcoming vacation has kept me motivated in this work from home environment. This is a big downer.
We are from NJ and completely agree! Here’s hoping this turns around soon. The sooner everyone accepts this temporary new norm (face masks, distancing, hand washing etc) the sooner this will be over. If these numbers keep skyrocketing I fear we may go back to shelter in place orders..
 

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Contributors on Nextdoor Digest are reporting that Bonefish and Carrabas are permanently closed.
That's a shame. The Bonefish there actually stayed pretty good and Carrabs's is one of the better chains. The bartender at Bonefish had worked there for several years. I feel sorry for the local business employees.
 

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Our neighbor just went down Wed and was suppose to stay through Sunday. He was back yesterday! Says it was crazy. Very few if any wearing masks! That as a 10 hr round trip for two nights. Ugh. We head to MOW tomorrow for whats suppose to be a week but we will probably be home Thursday but at least that’s only 5 hr round trip.
 

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We thought of booking a few nights end of July. Out the window now. We will stay put this summer. No need to worry about the pool and garden :giggle:
 

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Are we living in 2020? Or is this 1520? I find it amazing that this topic on whether mask wearing can help societies better prevent the spread of a respiratory global pandemic is even up for national debate.

What's next? A national debate on whether washing hands and bathing regularly is really necessary? Maybe we should just start letting doctors and surgeons go back and forth between the morgue and operating rooms again at will? It worked great in the 1600's and 1700's. Who really needs soap anyway?

I mean if we are going to slide backwards 300-500 years in our basic understanding of germ and virus transmission, why stop at just refusing to wear masks during a respiratory pandemic?
 

Big Matt

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My guess is that if the cases start to rise on HH Island, the mayor will shut down the beaches. That's enough to keep most folks away. I'm leaving tomorrow for a week at Grande Ocean and we plan to stay in the condo, go to the beach and do some walking around. We may get take out or try for a restaurant that is mostly outdoors. We have three more weeks later this summer. I'm concerned that those may be out the window if things keep spiking.
 

pedro47

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Our neighbor just went down Wed and was suppose to stay through Sunday. He was back yesterday! Says it was crazy. Very few if any wearing masks! That as a 10 hr round trip for two nights. Ugh. We head to MOW tomorrow for whats suppose to be a week but we will probably be home Thursday but at least that’s only 5 hr round trip.
Please let us know how your trip turns out. We normally go to MOW in Nov. or Dec for two (2) weeks.
Wishing you a nice carefree vacation with everyone wearing their masks in MB..
 
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nycjimster

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I just cancelled Myrtle Beach MOW due to all the news. Maybe I am paranoid about the virus, but I did not feel comfortable with the elevators and higher density at MOW. I am keeping Hilton Head in August for now, but will cancel if the news does not get better. I google search "Hilton Head covid" on regular basis; the latest is the Hilton Head is planning a meeting on mandatory face mask on Monday. I am actively trying to move up my week from late August to mid August due to NY/NJ/CT quarantine (coming from places with outbreaks). At least Interval is benefiting from the retrades. My HH trade is from my Grande Vista trade in April, which was cancelled.
 

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Our neighbor just went down Wed and was suppose to stay through Sunday. He was back yesterday! Says it was crazy. Very few if any wearing masks! That as a 10 hr round trip for two nights. Ugh. We head to MOW tomorrow for whats suppose to be a week but we will probably be home Thursday but at least that’s only 5 hr round trip.

Don't despair....we went to Hilton Head 2 weeks ago for a family vacation, and we are all extremely aware and paranoid ourselves.
Three of us work professionally in healthcare. It was awesome, but for one very different reason---we were together more than we had ever been.
Every meal was a true family meal....no one else scurrying around, and no noise from servers etc....
just everyone carrying on great conversations. Of course we were cautious and did everything right that we could.

Like we did, you can cook in, mostly stay in the villa or go on walks or bike rides, or walk to the beach and space yourself,
and in general avoid anything "high-density". The lobby will be fine, no worries. Elevators will only allow one person excepting families together.
And I know the pools at MOW have limited and restricted numbers allowed in at any given time.
One of my employees used the week I gave her at MOW in early June, and she said they did fine there, and she's paranoid too.

MB is indeed crazy but not as much at North Myrtle's MOW compared to the rest of the MB-proper area south of where you'll be,
where things have gotten indeed out of hand.
Avoid going out to eat, but do take-out if you want, or use the grills on property.
You may find, like we did, that the week together was far more quiet, relaxing, and rewarding because we hung together.
It was very memorable because we played games, watched movies, actually talked to each other far more, and otherwise
realized that we had a lot to be thankful for. So don't impulsively throw away a great opportunity to be together a whole week
and bond like you never have before. It IS doable. And later you'll all look back and say, "Hey, remember when....").

That said, each day forward will bring "new" news, so if things deteriorate a lot, make a wise judgment.
 
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JIMinNC

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My guess is that if the cases start to rise on HH Island, the mayor will shut down the beaches. That's enough to keep most folks away. I'm leaving tomorrow for a week at Grande Ocean and we plan to stay in the condo, go to the beach and do some walking around. We may get take out or try for a restaurant that is mostly outdoors. We have three more weeks later this summer. I'm concerned that those may be out the window if things keep spiking.

The beaches were never really shut down on HHI, even in March/April. The Town of Hilton Head shut down town-controlled public beach parking lots because that was all they had the authority to do. Properties with private access - single family homes, condos, hotels, and timeshares - always had beach access. Even Gov. McMaster's order that "closed" beaches didn't impact private property access rights. We were finishing up our condo renovation during that period and, once we were able to stay in the unit, went to the beach several times on warmer days in late March and April when the beaches were "closed." Given the pushback the Town Council got from HHI residents for closing the beaches that residents can use while tourists occupying rental units and timeshares had access through the resorts, I don't see that happening again. The only thing that kept tourist numbers down early on was the ban on short-term rentals, but even that wound up being a voluntary move through April 30 by the bigger rental companies - the short-term rental ban ordinance that the town initially passed was immediately rescinded due to immediate threat of huge lawsuits from property owners and rental companies.
 
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Big Matt

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Jim, I understand all of that. I should have said "beach accesses". Back when they were closed, it wasn't summer beach season. Closing Coligny for example would reduce about 1000 or more people per day. People staying in condos without beach access probably won't want to go given no public access. Places like Grand Ocean will be fine as they were then,
 

JIMinNC

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Jim, I understand all of that. I should have said "beach accesses". Back when they were closed, it wasn't summer beach season. Closing Coligny for example would reduce about 1000 or more people per day. People staying in condos without beach access probably won't want to go given no public access. Places like Grand Ocean will be fine as they were then,

Yeah, but the second part of that is that closing public beach access points denies access to local HHI residents who don't have beach access from their property. I think it would be very hard for local officials to do that again when most tourists would still have access. Even people who rented condos that don't have direct beach access in the gated communities like Palmetto Dunes, Shipyard, and Sea Pines were still able to walk/bike to the beach in March/April, and the only reason they had to walk/bike was the private communities voluntarily closed their beach auto parking. It's less likely that choice would be made again in July/August. So, a beach "closure" harms the full time residents more than visitors in HHI since so much of the beach access for visitors is in private communities that the Town or state has less control over.
 

Steve A

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What Jim said. Even closing public access didn’t stop tourists who simply walked around barriers where there were no attendants. I witnessed this on numerous occasions on my bike rides around mid-Island.
 

pedro47

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I feel tourists wanted to relax, to walk on the beach and to feel & to smell some ocean fresh air.
However, everyone one needs to follow the rules to reduce the spread of Covid-19. IMHO.
 
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