ByPatrick Phillips|March 4, 2020 at 5:21 AM EST - Updated March 4 at 7:31 AM
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - City of Charleston leaders are planning a meeting Wednesday to discuss how to prepare for the rising number of novel coronavirus cases.
The city’s Health and Wellness Advisory Committee is set to meet at the Gaillard Center, where they will receive an update from South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control Director Dr. Katy Richardson.
Meanwhile, from the port to hospitals, officials across the Tri-County area are preparing plans to deal with COVID-19, the specific strain of the coronavirus causing global concerns.
Officials and doctors at Trident Medical Center are discussing infection prevention, supplies and staffing. They also are conducting mock exercises to test their readiness if the virus did ever make its way to the Lowcountry.
Carnival Cruise Line officials say they are taking precautionary measures but have not made plans to cancel any cruises.
City officials say the focus for Wednesday is establishing communication.
"We're certainly not in a stage now where we're looking at shutting down or anything like that," Charleston Emergency Management Director Shannon Scaff said. "This is really just kind of monitoring, remaining engaged with our partners at this point. And just communicating to citizens to pay attention to the latest information from the CDC."
One of the latest cases of COVID-19 was confirmed Tuesdayin Wake County, North Carolina. That person traveled to the state of Washington and was exposed at a long-term care facility where there is currently a COVID-19 outbreak, health officials said.
Cases have also been reported in Georgia and Florida.
Gov. Henry McMaster said Monday there have been no confirmed cases in South Carolina.
The Centers for Disease Control released a list of preventative actionsto help you avoid becoming ill.
The new coronavirus causing the outbreak first appeared in Wuhan, China in late 2019, according to the CDC. “Coronaviruses” are a large family of viruses with a wide range of symptoms, ranging from SARS and MERS to the common cold.
COVID-19 is an abbreviation of “CO” for “corona,” “VI” for “virus,” "D" for disease and “19” for 2019. Formerly, this disease was referred to as “2019 novel coronavirus” or “2019-nCoV,” the CDC said.
Live 5 News is hosting a special phone bank with Trident Health on Thursday from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. The hospital system will have doctors and medical professionals available to answer your questions.
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Photo: Live 5 News