COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Thursday morning, state health officials reassured the public there are no confirmed cases of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in South Carolina.
According to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC)’s website, as of Wednesday evening, they are currently monitoring 13 people in the state for COVID-19.
Thursday morning at a committee meeting in the State House, officials confirmed the number had not changed.
They said they have monitored a total 49 people in the state for the coronavirus.
“What we mean by monitoring is that the CDC has provided notification to state health departments about individuals who have been to impacted areas,” Dr. Linda Bell, DHEC’s State Epidemiologist, said. “We ask those travelers that may have been in areas that may have been exposed, or may have been exposed to someone who’s ill, to monitor themselves for potential symptoms that could be consistent with COVID19.”
The cases DHEC are monitoring are not concentrated in one particular part of the state, officials said.
It’s important to note that monitoring is not the same as quarantine, and DHEC said no one in South Carolina is currently under quarantine. During monitoring, people are asked to track their symptoms. A DHEC official checks in with them each day, and they are discouraged from activities in large groups.
Most people are monitored for 14 days, which is the longest time it could take for symptoms of coronavirus to present in an affected person from the time they are exposed.
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A spokeswoman with the Medical University of South Carolina confirmed two of their patients were tested for the novel coronavirus. Both tests came back negative.
DHEC says for patients to be tested in South Carolina, they must meet CDC criteria. There is no charge for testing.
According to officials, they have the capacity to test 100 samples per day in South Carolina.
DHEC also set up a hotline to answers the public’s questions about COVID-19. People can call 855-472-3432 every weekday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
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