Pee Dee employers gear up for Phase 1B of SC vaccine rollout

Pee Dee

FLORENCE, S.C. (WBTW) — As South Carolina prepares to enter a new phase, about half the state will be able to get a dose starting Monday.

That includes frontline workers like manufacturers and teachers. Employers are getting ready.

“We’re monitoring the availability, so hopefully that’s right around the corner,” human resources manager at SteelFab Inc. in Florence County Cindy Smith said. “We’re actually coordinating an on-site so MUSC can come on-site and administer the vaccine to the employees here.”

Other plants in the Pee Dee like Ruiz Foods and McCall Farms are taking similar steps as SteelFab.

Meanwhile, around 1,000 employees with Florence One Schools are expected to get a vaccine Friday at Darlington Raceway. That’s before a clinic Monday at Hannah Pamplico Elementary-Middle for educators in Lower Florence County.

“Fully functional schools are essential and our teachers and staff have gone above, and done their part in the effort to serve our students on the front lines,” Florence County School District Two Superintendent Dr. Neal Vincent said. “So we’re very grateful to partner with McLeod Health.”

Administrators expect to vaccinate around 500 there.

Teachers in Lake City, meanwhile, are thrilled they’ll soon get a dose.

“When his announcement came and Superintendent Spearman’s announcement came it was like a breath of fresh air for us,” Lake City High School teacher Thomas Bucks said. “We all want to get back in school.”

“Especially for this community, it makes all the difference to have those in-person relationships and to keep kids coming back to school,” Lake City High School teacher Elisabeth Emhof said.

McLeod Health is able to vaccinate for phase 1B at its Darlington Raceway through a special exemption. All appointments have been booked.

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