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COVID-19 updates: South Carolina health officials reported 489 cases of coronavirus on Wednesday, with 28 additional confirmed deaths.

With 3,635 tests collected, the percent-positive rate was 13.5 percent.

As of 1:52 p.m. Sept. 16, via S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control:
Confirmed cases in S.C.: 131,428 (+489 new cases since Tuesday)
Percent Positive: 13.5% (down from 15.7%)
Positive tests in Charleston County (total): 15,009 (+33)
Negative tests in S.C.: 992,379
Deaths in S.C. from COVID-19: 2,968 (+28)

Source: Department of Health and Environmental ControlInstitute for Health Metrics and Evaluation

Top Stories: Acclaimed Charleston soul food restaurant Martha Lou’s Kitchen has permanently closed after 37 years on Morrison Drive. Ninety-year-old owner Martha Lou Gadsden’s pink restaurant has been a Charleston fixture for years, serving affordable, no-frills Southern foods like collards, fried chicken and cornbread. The property has been sold and will be demolished. Sources: Charleston City Paper, WCBD, P&C

With heavy rains during high tides this evening, heavy flooding is expected in low-lying places throughout the Lowcountry. Source: P&C

Gov. Henry McMaster is set to sign a bill that will expand absentee voting options during the 2020 general election. A bill allowing “no excuse” absentee voting for the Nov. 3 election passed the House by a vote of 115-1 Tuesday. According to the bill, absentee ballot applications must by submitted by 5 p.m. on Oct. 24 by mail or by 5 p.m. Oct. 30 if submitted in person. Source: The State

What we’re reading:
Los Angeles Times: How climate change is fueling record-breaking California wildfires, heat and smog
Bloomberg: Amazon plans to put 1,000 warehouses in suburban neighborhoods
Eater: Between the Pandemic and the Air Quality, Portland Restaurant Owners Are Trying to Hold On

More from the City Paper:

Wayne Magwood remembered as a mentor in the fishing communityThank goodness podcasts remind us of the hidden gems
– Mansueta’s continues pop-up streak Thursday on Daniel Island
– Flowertown Players now offering private, small-scale events