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COLUMBIA, S.C. (March 24, 2020) — The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) today announces two additional deaths related to the novel coronavirus COVID-19. This brings the state’s total number of deaths to seven. “Sadly, we have to announce again today that we’ve lost fellow South Carolinians due to complications from COVID-19,” said Dr. Jonathan Knoche, DHEC physician. “Our thoughts and sympathies are with the individual’s family and friends, as well as the medical professionals who extended the utmost care for this person. This unfortunate announcement is a reminder that we all have the responsibility to protect ourselves, our families, friends and community from this disease.”One patient was an elderly person from Florence County who had underlying health conditions. The second patient was an elderly person from Horry County with no underlying health conditions.After further investigation, an individual who passed away and was reported as residing in Kershaw County has been determined to have a Sumter County residence. DHEC reports cases based on the county of residence.“While we reiterate the importance of taking daily precautions to prevent spread, we want to make sure South Carolinians are also taking steps to address the feelings of stress and anxiety that arise in this type of prolonged situation,” said. Dr. Knoche. “Our partners at the Department of Mental Health have resources available to help, and we continue to provide guidance for coping with stress on DHEC’s COVID-19 webpage.”Visit scdmh.net for stress, anxiety and mental health resources from the S.C. Department of Mental Health. DHEC continues to provide new and updated guidance about COVID-19 at scdhec.gov/COVID19.Anyone with concerns about their health should reach out to their healthcare provider or use the telehealth services provided by several health care systems. For telehealth options and the latest information about DHEC’s COVID-19 response efforts, please visit scdhec.gov/COVID-19.*As new information is provided to the department, some changes in cases may occur. Cases are reported based on the individual’s county of residence, as it is provided to the department. DHEC’s COVID-19 map will adjust to reflect any reclassified cases.