Virtual Mayor’s Walk Against Domestic Violence

The 2020 Mayor’s Walk Against Domestic Violence will be held virtually Saturday, October 10. Participants are asked to join in and show their support by going for a walk in their own neighborhoods, local parks, and other outdoor areas throughout Columbia.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and for the 14th year, Mayor Steve Benjamin and Councilwoman Tameika Isaac Devine are hosting the annual walk, which will be taking place virtually this year due to the global pandemic. Participants are encouraged to walk alone or with their family members (households). If someone chooses to walk with a group or with friends, they are urged to wear a mask and practice social distancing. By joining in and walking in parks and neighborhoods within the community, participants will help in raising awareness about the abuse and violence that is taking place in our community. The first 500 people who register will have the opportunity to pick up a registration packet and gift as well as a yard sign to be displayed at their homes, showing their support in taking steps against domestic violence.
There is no cost to participate, but registration is required at: Participants can also search “Virtual Mayors Walk Against Domestic Violence” on the Eventbrite website to register.
For more information, contact the Public Relations, Media and Marketing Department at
City Council
Virtual Meeting
Tuesday, October 6, 2020 2:00 PM, Columbia, SC 29201
Mayor Benjamin Receives Flu Vaccination at City Hall & Encourages Columbia Residents to Get Their Own Vaccinations During the Month of October

Through a partnership with the City of Columbia and Doctor’s Care, Mayor Steve Benjamin received a flu vaccination on Friday, October 2 at 9:30 am in the parking lot behind Columbia City Hall at 1737 Main Street. After receiving his vaccination from a representative of Doctor’s Care, Mayor Benjamin expressed the importance of preventing the spread of the flu in our Midlands communities this season, and encouraged Midlands citizens to get their own flu vaccinations during October. Members of Columbia City Council have also been invited to receive flu vaccinations at that time.

“As we continue our stringent measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our Columbia communities, we want to make sure we do not face the dual hazard of another highly contagious disease at the same time,” said Mayor Steve Benjamin. “Fortunately, the flu is a health contingency we can take easy measures to prevent each year, and that prevention is through vaccinations. By getting flu shots during October before the onset of flu season, citizens are ensuring the health of themselves, their families and their entire Columbia community.”
All Access Columbia Virtual Meeting
WHAT: City of Columbia Community Development Department All Access Columbia Virtual Meeting discussing COVID-19 Food Resources
WHO: The City of Columbia Community Development Department to host virtual meeting with free registration
WHEN: Tuesday, October 13, 2020 5:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
WHERE: For more information and to register, please go to

Firefighters Want You to ‘Serve Up Safety’ for
Fire Prevention Week 2020
The Columbia-Richland Fire Department will be joining agencies throughout the U.S. in asking citizens to be more attentive and alert in their kitchens as National Fire Prevention Week 2020 kicks off next week.
The theme for this year’s prevention week (October 4-October 10) is ‘Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen’ – highlighting the risk of home fires that can happen while cooking.
“This theme REALLY is important in light of the situation we find ourselves in due to the pandemic,” said Columbia-Richland Fire Chief Aubrey. D. Jenkins, “With many people spending more time at home and cooking more meals at home there comes a greater risk of something going wrong in the kitchen. This unfortunately can sometimes lead to major injuries and extensive property damage if a fire breaks out.”
Each year cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires and home fire injuries according to the National Fire Prevention Association. In a majority of cases accidents while frying food caused major cooking fires.

To keep you and your family safe and protect your property from the threat of fire --- we encourage you to follow these guidelines:
  1. Have an adult or responsible person cook for children while you are away from home. This could by a babysitter, older sibling, neighbor, etc.
  2. To prevent children from cooking, have prepared meals at home for them during this time.
  3.       Whenever possible, have your child use a microwave to heat food rather than use the stove.
  4.      KEEP aluminum foil out of the microwave and plastics out of the oven.
  5. Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, or broiling food.
  6. Leave a safety area of at least 3 feet around the stove while hot items are being prepared. This will help prevent young children from suffering burns.
  7. Make sure kids stay away from hot food and liquids.
  8. Keep a Class A-B-C Dry Chemical Fire Extinguisher close to your stove in the event you have a grease fire.
  9. IF A GREASE FIRE BREAKS OUT DO NOT USE WATER TO EXTINGUISH IT! Smother the flames with a lid cover and turn off the burner. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled. If the grease fire is in the oven, close the door and turn the oven off.
  10.  Make sure you have working smoke alarms and CO alarm(s) in your home.
  11. Have an escape plan for your home and practice it with your family.
Stay safe in the kitchen everyone!

City of Columbia to Start Accepting Resilient Columbia CARES Act Revolving Loan Applications from Coronavirus Impacted Businesses on October 1st
The City of Columbia is happy to announce the launch of the Resilient Columbia CARES Act Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) Program. The U.S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration (EDA) awarded $14.3 million in CARES Act funding across South Carolina to capitalize and administer Revolving Loan Funds (RLFs) that will provide gap financing to small businesses and entrepreneurs adversely affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The City of Columbia received $2.9 million of the funds awarded to the state. The funds have been used to establish the Resilient Columbia CARES Act RLF.

Read the full story here.
City of Columbia to Cancel Annual “Spooktacular Halloween Party”
The City of Columbia Parks and Recreation Department has announced they will cancel this year’s “Spooktactular Halloween Party” to protect citizens and minimize opportunities to spread COVID-19 in our community.
In addition, no Halloween events will be held at any City parks due to facilities still being closed.
For more information, please visit for further details and updates.
“This may be the most important flu shot of your life”; DHEC Officials Stress Importance of Flu Vaccines Amid COVID-19
The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) joins state and national partners in emphasizing how critical it is for individuals to stay as healthy as possible during this global pandemic. One such action is getting your flu shot. 
"This year, this may be the most important flu shot of your life,” said Dr. Brannon Traxler, interim DHEC Public Health Director. “We’re experiencing the worst public health crisis in 100 years, and it’s never been more important for each and every one of us to stay as healthy as possible. We owe it to ourselves, our loved ones, and the essential workers and first responders who are tirelessly dedicated in their service to the public as we all endure this pandemic together.”
Contracting the flu and COVID-19 at the same time is possible and could likely cause more complications than if the flu were the sole infection. The quadrivalent flu vaccine that’s currently available this year protects against the four most common different flu viruses that are expected to circulate this flu season. Flu vaccines are safe, effective, and do not cause the flu.
“Vaccination is one of the most successful public health interventions in history for reducing disease spread and preventing complications and deaths from vaccine-preventable diseases,” said Dr. Linda Bell, State Epidemiologist. “So many generations before us would have given anything to have a flu vaccine. With COVID-19’s prevalence across our state, we must use the vaccines that medical science has afforded us to help prevent illness like the flu.”
DHEC and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that everyone six months of age and older get vaccinated. Preventing the flu is particularly important for people who are at increased risk of complications from the virus, including young children, adults aged 50 years and older, pregnant women, and people with certain chronic medical conditions. 
Receiving your flu shot reduces your chances of contracting the flu, and, if contracted, lessens hospitalizations and deaths due to influenza.
COVID-19 and the flu can have similar symptoms, and they are both serious and potentially deadly diseases. However, it’s important to understand that COVID-19 is causing significantly more hospitalizations and deaths in South Carolina and across the country. When comparing COVID-19 and the flu:
  • Over the past decade, an average of 36,000 deaths per year in the United States are attributed to flu. The current total of deaths due to COVID-19 is 209,000 nationally. 
  • In South Carolina, over the past six years, there have been an average of 140 flu deaths each year. From March 1-October 7 this year, there have been 3,530 COVID-19 deaths in the state. 
  • Compared to the top causes of death in South Carolina in 2018, COVID-19 would be the third-leading cause of death in South Carolina, ahead of accidents (3,368) and behind heart disease (10,460) and cancer (10,360). 
“Another reason why it’s so important to get your flu shot this year is we don’t want to overwhelm our hospitals, ICUs, and ventilators with both flu and COVID-19 patients,” Traxler said.
Flu shots are available at multiple locations across the state, including certain DHEC public health offices, pharmacies, hospitals, doctors’ offices and other locations. To see if your local DHEC public health office offers the flu shot and to schedule an appointment, click here or call 855-472-3432 to schedule an appointment.
Learn more about the flu and see a flu vaccine announcements featuring Dr. Bell and Dr. Traxler at For the latest COVID-19 information, visit
Mayor Steve Benjamin and Columbia City Council Unanimously Approves Emergency Ordinance Extending Mask Face Coverings and Temporary Suspension of Meetings
Mayor Steve Benjamin and Columbia City Council unanimously approved an emergency ordinance that extends the temporary suspension of the normal operating procedures of City Council and City Boards and Commissions meetings.
This allows for the Mayor, Council Members, Board Members and Commission Members to remotely participate in voting and operational procedures by telephone or other means of electronic communication and extends the requirement that face coverings or masks be work in public in the City of Columbia.
The previous ordinance would have expired on October 4, 2020. The extension approved by City Council on September 15th extends the ordinance to expire on the 61st day after enactment of this ordinance.

Read the ordinance here.
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City Council
Virtual Meeting
Tuesday, October 6, 2020 2:00 PM, Columbia, SC 29201
Register For the VIRTUAL 14th Annual Mayor's Walk Against Domestic Violence

Please join us as we help spread awareness on domestic violence and help support victims of this senseless violence in our community. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be holding a virtual walk on Saturday, October 10th, but will taking our message to social media throughout the month of October.

We ask you post and share domestic violence awareness throughout the month to bring light to an issue that is being amplified during this pandemic. According to research done by the National Domestic Violence Hotline during the first few months of the pandemic, they experienced a 9% increase in their contact volume and about 10% of those calls cited COVID-19 as a contributing factor.

Each person who registers will receive a domestic violence social media tool kit, that will assist you in your efforts to spread awareness.

If you have any questions, please e-mail or visit

Mayor Benjamin Flu Shot PSA
Mayor Benjamin Flu Shot Press Conference
City of Columbia Municipal Court Reopening | A Message from the Chief Administrative Judge

The Columbia Municipal Court will reopen on September 14, 2020 to limited operations. Only Criminal, Traffic, Quality of Life, and Domestic Violence courts will operate after our reopen date. Jury Trials, Roster Meetings and Preliminary Hearings will continue to be postponed until further notice. If you have missed your court date due to the court closure, your case will be rescheduled and notification will be sent to you by mail of your new court date. Fine payments can be made online from this web page under the Court Payments tab, in person at our drive thru window or at our payment counter after the reopen date listed above. No person will be allowed in the courthouse without a face covering.

In addition, please open and review the Order by the South Carolina Supreme Court, which is liked below, regarding Required Use of Protective Mask in Municipal Courthouses.

Follow these easy steps to help prevent the spread of COVID-19:

 1.      Wash hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.

2.      If soap and warm water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

3.      Clean surfaces frequently with disinfecting supplies (telephones, keyboards, copiers, printers, desks, etc.)

4.      Stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) from other individuals

5.      Do no gather in crowds and groups.
6.      Maximize social distancing among co-workers and the public.

Remember, Safety Starts with an “S” but it begins with “YOU”.
Let’s continue to unite and fight the spread of the Coronavirus. 
Columbia City Council

Stephen K. Benjamin
Sam Davis
Councilman District I
Tameika Isaac Devine
Councilwoman At-Large
Howard E. Duvall, Jr.
Councilman At-Large
Edward H. McDowell, Jr.
Councilman District II
Daniel J. Rickenmann
Councilman District IV
Will Brennan
Councilman District III
Teresa Wilson
City Manager