Germany Virus Outbreak

A graffiti consisting of the text "Stay Home" and a symbolic novel coronavirus has been sprayed on the ground in Munich, Germany, Monday March, 16, 2020. Berlin has closed all bars and pubs because of the coronavirus outbreak in Germany. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.

A number of local events in Aiken County and throughout South Carolina have been postponed, canceled or altered because of the outbreak of coronavirus. Send information about event cancellations to editorial@aikenstandard.com.

Facility closings

• The Aiken County Public School District announced schools are closed beginning March 16 through the end of April. All school athletic competitions are suspended.

• Aiken County announced public access to all county facilities is restricted. The restriction will remain in place until April 17. Residents are urged to continue conducting business with the county by phone, email, U.S. mail and online.

• The City of Aiken has issued a suspension of yard sale permits and will close public offices through April 12. Business can still be conducted over the telephone or online and payments can continue to be made using the drive-thru or the drop box located at 135 Laurens St. S.W.

• Starting March 23 the City of North Augusta will implement City facility closures. These closures are in addition to the current restricted services already in place. Though City facilities will be closed to citizens, essential City services will still be delivered. Essential employees will report as directed to work in person and remotely.

• All City of Aiken parks, as well as Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism facilities are closed. Rescheduled dates of youth sports practices and leagues have not been determined at this time. Refunds will be issued for any rental or activity registration that is canceled and is not rescheduled. Memberships and Passes will be extended based on the number of days closed, for those applicable.

• All Aiken County parks, as well as facilities, are closed. All county recreation programs (licensed and/or permitted events, athletic leagues, facility rentals and scheduled tournaments) are canceled and all recreation buildings, including restrooms, will be closed to the public. Refunds will be issued for any rental or activity registration that is canceled and not rescheduled.

• Beginning Saturday, March 28, all state parks in South Carolina will be closed through Thursday, April 30.

• The Aiken County Public Library and all library buildings within the ABBE Regional Library System will be closed until at least until March 31 with continuing evaluation. Due dates on library materials will be extended and book drops will remain open. Any fines incurred during this period will be waived. Pick up deadlines for materials on hold will be extended.

• USC Aiken will suspend all events until April 5. Events include cardiac rehab, the Academy for Lifelong Learning, McGrath Computer Learning Center, events at the Etherredge Center and in the USC Aiken Convocation Center. Ruth Patrick Science Education Center programming will not be available until April 5.

• Aiken Technical College announced it will not observe spring events, in accordance with guidance from from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control. The following spring events will not be held as scheduled: pinning and induction ceremonies, awards night and commencement. The college is exploring alternatives for each of the events, according to an email to students Friday morning. As a result of the required closure of the college from March 16 to March 31, ATC also will not observe spring break, which was scheduled for April 6-10. The adjustment to the academic calendar will provide the time needed to meet instructional requirements and ensure ensure students receive the instructional time require. Canceling spring break also will reduce the possibility of extending the academic term, according to the release.

• The Aiken County Historical Museum will be closed until April 17 in line with Aiken County's declaration of emergency.

• The U.S. Department of Energy is postponing all public tours of Environmental Management sites through the end of April. This includes SRS public tours scheduled for March 26, April 16 and April 23.

• The Aiken Center for the Arts is closed to the public. The center unveiled an online video tour for the public to view the American Academy of Equine Art exhibition. The video can be viewed at AikenCenterForTheArts.org. Appointments also can be scheduled to view the exhibition in person.

• The Aiken County Animal Shelter will be closed to the public to protect the safety of the community and shelter personnel. Adoptions and fostering will be done by appointment only.

• The Aiken County Farmers Market and the Aiken Visitors Center and Train Museum are closed through April 17.

• Belk stores, including the Aiken location, will be closed to customers through March 30. Shopping is still available online at belk.com.

• Atlantic Broadband has closed its front counter service locations in light of the ongoing developments related to COVID-19. Customers can pay their bills online at atlanticbb.com.

Events

• The Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board has postponed the public hearing previously scheduled for March 19 regarding the Savannah River Site. The hearing will be rescheduled sometime in the next three to six months.

• The SRS Citizens Advisory Board meetings scheduled for March 23 and 24 are postponed. In response to those concerns, and out of an abundance of caution, the DOE Office of Environmental Management is postponing all Site-Specific Advisory Board meetings through the end of April.

• The Aiken Standard’s Spring Home and Garden show originally scheduled for March 27-28 is postponed until Friday-Saturday, May 29-30.

• The Aiken Newcomers' Club luncheon scheduled for April 14 has been canceled.

• The Aiken Master Gardener Association Plant Sale scheduled for April 25 has been canceled.

• The 2020 Mayor’s Masters Reception in Augusta has been canceled.

• The 2020 Garden City Festival at Sacred Heart Cultural Center scheduled for April 23-25 has been canceled.

• The Keep Aiken County Beautiful Clean Slate for Hwy. 78 Litter Pick Up will be rescheduled to observe the newest CDC recommended distancing of avoiding groups of 10 or more people.

• The American Cancer Society has decided to postpone all 759 American Cancer Society Relay For Life events from March through mid-May, including the Aiken Relay For Life.

• The Board of Trustees of the Hitchcock Woods Foundation is postponing the 104th Aiken Horse Show. The Aiken Horse Show is rescheduled for Sept. 25, 26 and 27. All current reservations will carry forward to the fall.

• Savannah Riverkeeper has also postponed the 2020 Roast on the River to Oct. 24 as a precaution against the coronavirus. Tickets that have already been purchased for the event will still be accepted in October, according to a news release from Savannah Riverkeeper.

• The Aiken Newcomers' Club will not meet in April.

• The Aiken Master Gardener's Plant Sale scheduled for Saturday, April 25, has been canceled.

• Earth Day Aiken, originally scheduled for April 18, has been canceled. The festival will return April 17, 2021.

• The Aiken Horse Park Foundation has canceled the Aiken Charity Horse Shows I and II. They were scheduled for April 29-May 3 and May 6-10, respectively, at Bruce’s Field.

• The 104th Aiken Horse Show in Hitchcock Woods is now scheduled for Sept. 25, 26 and 27.

Entertainment

• All April 2020 events scheduled at Augusta Entertainment Complex, James Brown Arena and Bell Auditorium have been postponed until further notice. Organizers are working to reschedule performances. The following events have been postponed: STOMP – April 1; The Temptations & The Four Tops- April 2; Riverdance – April 16; The Fabulously Funny Comedy Festival – April 24; Rodney Carrington – April 24 (rescheduled for Aug. 28); Darci Lynne & Friends – April 26; Blue Man Group – April 27-28. Patrons are encouraged to retain tickets until new dates are announced, as tickets for the original show dates will be honored for the rescheduled dates.

• The Aiken Community Theatre has canceled all shows and events through the spring. The cancellation includes the play “Death by Golf,” the musical “Annie,” and all workshops and special events, including Young Wing activities and the May Coffee House. The two summer shows remain on the schedule pending additional announcements from the CDC and other government officials, according to ACT's website at aikencommunitytheatre.org.

• The 16th annual Drive for Show, Rock Fore! Dough has been postponed. The concert was set to take place in Augusta on April 7. A press release from Gluestick Media states that any tickets purchased will be honored at the new concert date. That future date has not been announced.

• The Zach Williams “Rescue Story” tour has been postponed, according to a news release from CMA Media Promotions. The sold-out concert was to be April 2 at Millbrook Baptist Church with guests “We the Kingdom” and “Cain.”

• The March Aiken Depot Jam has been canceled.

• Cody Jinks originally scheduled for Saturday, March 21 at Bell Auditorium has been rescheduled for Saturday, June 13.

• The Jill Scott show at the Bell Auditorium been postponed until further notice. Tickets for the original March 13 show will be honored for the new date, to be announced.

• The MercyMe show scheduled for March 14 at the James Brown Arena was postponed. For those who purchased tickets for the original March 14 show, tickets will be honored for the new date, to be announced.

• "The Color Purple" set for March 18 at Bell Auditorium has been postponed until further notice.

• The Columbia R&B Fest at Colonial Life Arena scheduled for April 25 has been rescheduled to Saturday, Aug. 22. Tickets purchased for the April 25 date will be honored for the rescheduled date.

• USC Aiken's 2019-2020 Cultural Series finale, "Broadway's Next H!t Musical," an award-winning comedy driven by the audience's participation, has been rescheduled for Oct. 27, at 7:30 p.m., in the Etherredge Center.

Sports

• Wimbledon was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic, the first time since World War II that the oldest Grand Slam tennis tournament won't be played. Wimbledon was scheduled to be played on the club's grass courts on the outskirts of London from June 29 to July 12.

• The Indianapolis 500 was postponed until August because of the coronavirus pandemic and won't run on Memorial Day weekend for the first time since 1946. The race will instead be held Aug. 23, three months later than its May 24 scheduled date.

• The Kentucky Derby is being postponed from May 2 to Sept. 5, marking the first time in 75 years that the race won't be run on the first Saturday in May.

• The city of North Augusta Parks and Recreation Department has canceled all travel sporting events during the month of March, including visiting tournaments that utilize the Activities Center.

• The Minor League Baseball season will be delayed, affecting the Augusta GreenJackets. The GreenJackets, based at SRP Park in North Augusta, is a minor league team affiliated with the San Francisco Giants. Effective March 16, SRP Park will be closed to all visitors. This includes postponement of the ticket pick-up party on March 28. A schedule on the team’s website lists April 9 as the team’s first game against the Columbia Fireflies in Columbia. The first home game for the team is currently set for April 16 against the Rome Braves. A news release from Minor League Baseball states that it will work with Major League Baseball to resume play as soon as it is safe to do so.

• The Volvo Car Open announced that its tournament, the largest women’s only pro tennis event in North America, will not be played this year. It was set for April 4-12 and ready to celebrate its 20th year in Charleston.

• The First Tee of Aiken has postponed all programming and events through April 30. Currently, this timetable would still allow for a spring session. The First Tee will monitor the situation and provide updates as available.

• The 25th annual Triple Crown Golf Classic scheduled for Monday, March 30, at the Woodside Plantation Country Club has been rescheduled for Monday, June 8. Teams are asked to reconfirm their entry by emailing admin@helpinghandsaiken.org or tjackson@aikntdc.org.

• The second Aiken County All-Star Basketball Classic has been postponed.

Churches

• The remaining Lenten Lunches at St. Thaddeus Episcopal Church have been canceled.

• Aiken's First Baptist Church has canceled all church activities until Easter.

St. John’s United Methodist Church will not hold Sunday services.

• There will be no sacramental or other liturgical celebrations anywhere in the Diocese of Charleston through the end of April 1.

Second Providence Baptist Church, in North Augusta, has canceled all activities for the next two weeks.

• TrueNorth Church, in North Augusta, will transition its normal Sunday services to an online-only format.

• First Presbyterian Church of Aiken offers its worship services via live streaming.

• Clearwater Branch Baptist Church has suspended all services until April 4.

Second Baptist Church of Aiken will be closed for all church activities beginning Wednesday, March 18. For more information, visit secondbaptistaiken.org or letloveabound.org. Sunday messages will be available online.

Peace Lutheran Church will stream services online via Facebook Live and Zoom.

Check back with Aiken Standard for updates.