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The Tidelands Health Newsroom

Published on July 18, 2017

Supply of free eclipse glasses exhausted, 75,000 pairs to be distributed

Thousands of families throughout the region will safely watch the Aug. 21 eclipse using free glasses distributed by Tidelands Health.

The health system in late June began offering free eclipse glasses as part of its #seeitsafely campaign to encourage safe viewing of the event. Following tremendous community interest, supplies of the glasses are exhausted, and ordering is closed. All glasses already ordered will be sent via mail in early August to arrive in homes before the Aug. 21 event.

The health system will distribute 75,000 pairs of glasses to families and community groups in Horry, Georgetown and Williamsburg counties.

“We’re honored to play a part in such a wonderful experience for so many families in our region,” said Amy Stevens, vice president of marketing and communications. “Helping people enjoy the eclipse safely is part of our mission to help people live better lives through better health.”

The free glasses are just one part of the #seeitsafely campaign launched by Tidelands Health for the eclipse. The campaign also includes a wide variety of useful resources, including safety tips, access to an interactive map, snack tips, an eclipse-related music playlist and instructions on ways to safely observe the event without the use of eclipse glasses. The information is being distributed through the health system’s website at tidelandshealth.org, as well as via social media.

The only time it’s safe to look directly at the sun during an eclipse is during the brief, one- to two-minute period of eclipse “totality,” when the sun is completely hidden behind the moon. Only portions of our region from Pawleys Island to Charleston will experience this opportunity, depending on location.

Area residents outside the “path of totality” will still experience a partial eclipse. Special-purpose solar filters, such as the eclipse glasses distributed by Tidelands Health, should be worn to look at the sun throughout the entirety of a partial eclipse. Individuals in the “path of totality” who experience a full eclipse should wear the glasses to look at the sun during all partial phases of the event, removing them only during the brief period of totality.

Individuals without eclipse glasses can safely observe the event using a variety of alternatives, such as “pinhole viewers,” that project an image of the eclipse onto paper or other mediums. For instructions on how to build a pinhole viewer, go here.

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Tidelands Health is the largest health care provider in Georgetown and Horry counties. With three hospitals and nearly 50 outpatient locations that stretch from Andrews to North Myrtle Beach, Tidelands Health is improving lives across the Tidelands region.