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 changes to editorial@aikenstandard.com.

Facilities

• The Aiken County Public Library and the 12 other libraries in the Aiken-Bamberg-Barnwell-Edgefield Regional Library System reopened to the public June 8 with limited services, hours of operation and limits on the number of people allowed in the buildings. The hours for the Aiken County Public Library in Aiken and the Nancy Carson Library in North Augusta are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. For the Midland Valley Branch Library in Langley, Jackson Branch Library and New Ellenton Branch Library, the hours are 1 to 5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Thursday and 2 to 5 p.m. Tuesday. For the Nancy Bonnette Branch Library in Wagener, the hours are Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

• State Parks in South Carolina reopened May 1 on a limited basis. Each state park plans to lower its carrying capacity, meaning it will only allow a limited number of visitors at once. Levels vary by park. 

• Offices at the Aiken County Government Center have reopened to the public, but access is being “restricted and carefully controlled." The public is urged to continue conducting business with the county through online portals, telephone calls and the use of the drop boxes and the drive thru window at Aiken County Government Center. Public access to the Government Center is through the rear entrance only. 

• The City of Aiken has reopened offices to public. 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.

• The City of North Augusta reopened the Municipal Building on Georgia Avenue for in-person service May 4 but is encouraging residents to continue using other means to access services including northaugusta.net, telephone calls, email, the U.S. Postal Service and the payment drop-off box in the parking lot of the municipal building. City facilities will be closed to residents though essential city services will still be delivered.

• Beginning May 22, the Aiken Visitors Center and Train Museum, Aiken Thoroughbred Hall of Fame and Museum and Clifford S. Gerde Carriage Museum opened under their standard operating hours. On Saturday, May 30, all City of Aiken outdoor park amenities opened, including restrooms, picnic shelters, playgrounds, basketball courts, tennis courts, pickleball courts, disc golf, batting cages, sports fields and Sprayground. On Monday, June 1, indoor facilities for programming and rentals opened at the Lessie B. Price Aiken Senior and Youth Center, Rye Patch Reception Center and Municipal Building Conference Center. The H. Odell Weeks Activities Center will reopen Gym 2, Aerobics Rooms and the Fitness Room for scheduled programs only. Group sports practices, trainings and athletic camps at Citizens Park Sports Complex may resume, with game play and tournaments available beginning June 15.

• Aiken County parks have reopened. 

• 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.

Events

• The 2020 edition of the Aiken Fall Steeplechase has been canceled, according to a news release issued by the Aiken Steeplechase Association on July 13. The 29th running of the event was scheduled for Oct. 31 at the Aiken Horse Park Foundation’s Bruce’s Field.

• The first-ever Aiken Restaurant Week scheduled for July 13-18 has been postponed. The Aiken Downtown Development Association and the City of Aiken teamed up with the Aiken Standard to create the event. New dates will be shared when available.

• Hops and Hogs has been rescheduled for Saturday, Aug. 22, from 6 to 10 p.m. at the Newberry Street Festival Center in downtown Aiken. There will be 20-plus craft breweries, barbecue vendors and a kids zone. For more information, visit www.downtownaiken.com.

• Celebrity Waiter Night, originally scheduled for May 11 in Aiken, has been rescheduled to Aug. 31 from 6 to 10 p.m. The event is a fundraiser for Children's Place. 

• 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 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 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 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.”

• 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

• The Boston Marathon has been canceled for the first time in its 124-year history.

• 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 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 was closed to all visitors. 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.

Check back with Aiken Standard for updates.