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COLUMBIA, S.C. (March 30, 2020) — The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) today announced two additional deaths related to the COVID-19 novel coronavirus. This brings the state’s total number of deaths to 18.
One patient was an elderly individual from Beaufort County who had underlying health conditions. The other patient was an elderly individual from Anderson County with underlying health conditions.
“We’re all in this together,” said Dr. Brannon Traxler, DHEC physician. “Today’s announcement is a stark reminder of the serious threat that COVID-19 poses to our families, friends, and communities. We encourage all South Carolinians to continue to listen to the guidance of our public health professionals and to, when possible, stay home and limit your close contact with others.”
DHEC is also reporting 151 additional cases of COVID-19 today. As of today, the total number statewide is 925 cases in 41 counties*.
The number of new cases by county are listed below.
Late last week, DHEC reported a backlog of specimens to be tested that had developed at DHEC’s Public Health Laboratory due to a nationwide shortage in the reagents (chemicals) required to perform testing. As of March 27, 2020, DHEC’s Laboratory now has the necessary reagents. The lab is operating extended hours and is testing specimens seven days a week. As of today, DHEC’s Laboratory will resume a turnaround time of 24-48 hours once specimens are received at the lab.
DHEC’s COVID-19 webpage is updated daily with a map of positive cases as well as the most current recommendations for protecting against COVID-19.
“We recognize that this is a challenging time and that what we’re calling on everyone across our state to do is not easy,” Dr. Traxler said. “But the risk of inaction is far too great. If we all don’t follow the guidance for social distancing and staying home, then we can anticipate seeing higher rates of cases similar to what we’ve seen in other states.”
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. Visit scdmh.net for stress, anxiety and mental health resources from the S.C. Department of Mental Health.
*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.