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Tidelands Health says its supply of free eclipse glasses is quickly dwindling

South Carolina in direct path of total solar eclipse. To look at it safely you will need special glasses (like these) or viewing devices.(WPDE/Sydney Glenn)

Time is running out to get free eclipse viewing glasses from Tidelands Health.

In late June, the hospital system began offering up to four free pairs of eclipse glasses to residents of Horry, Georgetown and Williamsburg counties and, since then, thousands of pairs of glasses have been claimed in less than three weeks.

Now, only about 20 percent of the available supply remains with six weeks to go before the eclipse, the release from Tidelands Health said.

“The outpouring of interest in the free glasses has been tremendous,” said Amy Stevens, vice president of marketing and communications, in the release. “We’re excited to help so many people watch the eclipse safely, and we want to encourage anyone interested in the glasses to order immediately before our supplies are exhausted.”

Orders can only be accepted online by going to tidelandshealth.org and clicking on the large “See it safely” banner on the home page of the health system’s website. Glasses will be distributed by mail in early August.

The free eclipse glasses are part of the broader #seeitsafely campaign developed by Tidelands Health to promote safe viewing of the Aug. 21 eclipse, the release said.

“The eclipse will be an awe-inspiring experience, but it’s critical to keep safety in mind,” Stevens said. “We’ve developed the #seeitsafely campaign to help communicate that message to the community. It’s part of our commitment to help people live better lives through better health.”

The only time it’s safe to look directly at the sun 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.

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