RANDOLPH COUNTY, N.C. — Coronavirus cases in Myrtle Beach and across the country continue to climb.
ore and more vacationers and visitors have begun to show symptoms and test positive after a stay at Myrtle Beach.
A Randolph County mother tells FOX8 she is one of them.
“It’s without a doubt the worst virus I’ve ever had,” explained the woman who did not wish to reveal her name. “The only way to really describe COVID-19 is it’s a thief.”
The mother and her daughter took a trip to Myrtle Beach on June 11 and stayed through June 14. It was an annual trip they took to make “mother-daughter” memories and take a break.
Their decision this year to go to Myrtle Beach came after the two were not able to cancel their trip with a full refund.
“With the numbers and my underlying health conditions, my daughter literally begged for her deposit back,” the mother said.
They decided to go to the beach with strict precautions in place to avoid any exposure to the virus.
Both women described horrific encounters they felt put their safety at risk.
They described overcrowded hotel rooms near theirs, crowded pools and very few people wearing masks.
At some point during the trip, the mother believes she contracted the coronavirus. When asked exactly when she thinks that was, she said it was too hard to tell.
“We would stand and wait for an elevator, and we would wear masks. The crowd…was so out of control,” she said.
When the two came back, the mother began to feel symptoms related to COVID-19.
“No smell. No taste. Just a headache. Very painful to walk,” she said.
Two days later, she tested positive for COVID-19.
She has had the virus for 13 days as of Tuesday and explained that her fever and her symptoms have not improved.
Her message is that others will realize this is to be taken seriously, and that COVID-19 is not a hoax.
“We are not being played. This is real. This is real…Vacation time is important, and time with your family is important. You know what’s even more important? Knowing you’re going to live to see the next day,” she said.
Randolph County health officials said they could not pinpoint exactly how many COVID-19 cases they have had from those who traveled to Myrtle Beach.
However, they did explain there have been some cases.
FOX8 reached out to the Myrtle Beach Board of Commissioners for comments or concerns citizens should have.
Their message is provided below:
“The Myrtle Beach area has long been a popular destination for many travelers, and we have experienced a tremendous number of visitors since reopening as many people are ready for a vacation. But this is not unique to Myrtle Beach. As businesses and destinations are reopening across the country, we are seeing an increase in cases. We are asking people to take the necessary precautions when they venture out of their homes or travel, such as social distancing, wearing masks and sanitizing. This will allow people to visit Myrtle Beach safely.
We are welcoming visitors, but it is essential that anyone traveling to the area travel responsibly. While not required by law, we strongly encourage the use of masks, washing your hands and maintaining social distancing practices.
It takes all of us to limit the spread of this virus and we encourage all visitors to follow the recommended guidelines to ensure we can all stay healthy and can vacation together in the future.
– Karen Riordan, President & CEO, Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce”