West Columbia mayor asks for understanding as city deals with COVID-19

Schools are closed, restaurants offer take-out and delivery only and 72 percent of the state’s labor force is working from home, according to S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster. The coronavirus crisis has no doubt disrupted life.

In West Columbia, household garbage and recycling are now collected simultaneously. Garbage and recycling normally collected on Mondays and Tuesdays is all being collected on Tuesdays. 

Household garbage and recycling normally collected on Wednesday and Thursdays is all being collected on Thursdays. With so many people at home, who are also eating at home, there is a lot more for sanitation workers to deal with, than normal. 

The disorder caused by COVID-19 is a cause of concern from citizens.  
“I receive 40-to-50 calls, texts, emails and other messages a day, asking about the coronavirus,” said West Columbia Mayor Tem Miles.

He is reassuring citizens that the city is doing all it can to meet the needs of the people.

“The citizens of West Columbia receive outstanding city services 365 days of the year,” said Miles. “And we are now facing the most serious community-wide health issue we’ve faced in our lifetime.  As a result, the city services we offer have changed. We would greatly appreciate any grace and patience you can extend to us and our neighbors as we face the challenges in front of us.”

Public Works and Sanitation

Miles also said there is constant communication between West Columbia leaders and state and federal decision-makers.

“I want to let everyone know we remain in contact with the governor, and we follow every recommendation from the CDC and DHEC,” said Miles. 
“We just need to stay safe.”

Miles noted that the people of West Columbia are persistent and have persevered over the years. He said he is confident everyone will work to get through the current coronavirus crisis.

The mayor also referred to S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control coronavirus guidelines to help protect yourself and help prevent spreading the virus to others:

Wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds, with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub

Cafe Strudel sign

Cover your nose and mouth with a disposable tissue or flexed elbow when you cough or sneeze
Avoid close contact (6 feet or more) with people who are unwell
Stay home and self-isolate from others in the household if you feel unwell

Touch your eyes, nose, or mouth if your hands are not clean

More information on COVID-19 from DHEC:

What is coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)?
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. The virus that causes COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus that was first identified during
an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China.

The U.S. and COVID-19
COVID-19 is spreading from person to person in parts of the United States. Risk of infection with COVID-19 is higher for people who are close contacts of someone known to have COVID-19. For example healthcare workers, or household members. Other people at higher risk for infection are those who live in or have recently been in an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19. Learn more about places with ongoing spread at:


  1. For those in the Sanitation Department, I just want to thank you for all you are doing, especially during this epidemic crisis. We in the city of West Columbia need to be grateful that you are picking up all of our garbage at this time. May You all be blessed, as you are so faithful to your work. We pray that you stay well. Thank you!

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