South Carolina COVID-19 Confirmed Cases

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Roper St. Francis Health reports 31 new COVID-19 cases

ByPatrick Phillips|April 6, 2020 at 2:21 PM EDT - Updated April 6 at 2:21 PM

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The latest update from Roper St. Francis Health shows the hospital system has now confirmed more than 100 novel coronavirus cases.

A total of 31 new patients tested positive as of Monday, according to Roper spokesman Andy Lyons. That brings the total in the healthcare system to 123.

Of the 123 confirmed COVID-19 patients, 35 patients are considered cleared of the virus, Lyons said.

Thirteen of the 123 patients are being cared for in one of the Roper hospitals, though officials will not say which hospital is treating those patients.

Lyons said there has been no change in the number of Roper staffers who have tested positive; that number stands at 15. One of those 15 teammates is outside the 14-day infection period and is cleared to return to work, he said.

The hospital system is waiting for results from 150 tests, which is “a significant reduction from last week,” Lyons said.

Out of 1,719 patients tested, 1,446 have tested negative, he said.

Copyright 2020 WCSC. All rights reserved.

DHEC: More than 2,000 COVID-19 cases in South Carolina, 44 total deaths

ByLive 5 Web Staff|April 5, 2020 at 3:40 PM EDT - Updated April 6 at 5:12 AM

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control announced 132 new cases of COVID-19, including four additional deaths.

This brings the total number of confirmed cases to 2,049 and 44 total deaths.

DHEC says three of the four people who have died were elderly. Of the three, two were known to have underlying health conditions and one is under investigation. The fourth person was a middle-aged person who had underlying health conditions. The residents were from Clarendon, Horry, Beaufort and Lee counties.

As of Saturday, DHEC’s Public Health Laboratory says they have conducted 7,571 tests for COVID-19. Of these tests, 876 were positive and 6,695 were negative. A total of 18,930 tests by both DHEC’s Public Health Laboratory and private labs have been conducted in the state. DHEC’s Public Health Laboratory is operating extended hours and is testing seven days a week.

As of Saturday, DHEC says 5,917 hospital beds are available and 6,283 are utilized, which is a 51.5 percent statewide hospital bed utilization rate. The overall trend this week has been in greater hospital bed availability, specifically a 6.8 percent decrease in hospital bed utilization since March 23.

Copyright 2020 WCSC. All rights reserved.

Roper St. Francis Health reports 10 new COVID-19 cases

ByPatrick Phillips|April 3, 2020 at 10:22 AM EDT - Updated April 3 at 10:22 AM

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Roper St. Francis Health says it has confirmed 10 additional COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours.

That brings the total cases the hospital system has treated to 92, spokesman Andy Lyons says. Of those 92, 15 are Roper staff members, none of whom are hospitalized, he says.

Six of the 92 are being cared for in one of their hospitals, but RSFH officials have not said which hospitals are caring for them.

Copyright 2020 WCSC. All rights reserved.

Roper St. Francis Health reports 17 new COVID-19 cases

ByPatrick Phillips|April 2, 2020 at 11:25 AM EDT - Updated April 2 at 11:25 AM

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Roper St. Francis Health officials say the total number of COVID-19 cases confirmed among patients at their facility has reached 82.

Roper spokesman Andy Lyons said 17 new patients were reported in the last 24 hours.

"Five of our 82 confirmed patients still are being cared for in one of our hospitals, with no new COVID-19 confirmed patient admissions in the past 24 hours," Lyons said.

He said an additional 21 suspected patients are isolated across our hospitals and waiting for test results.

Seven of the 82 confirmed cases are Roper St. Francis Health staffers but none of them are hospitalized, Lyons said.

Copyright 2020 WCSC. All rights reserved.

38 MUSC Health employees have tested positive for COVID-19

ByRay Rivera|April 1, 2020 at 4:47 PM EDT - Updated April 1 at 5:21 PM

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Hospital officials have announced that four more MUSC Health employees have tested positive for COVID-19.

The new cases brings the total number of positive cases for MUSC employees to 38.

In addition, the hospital reported 135 new COVID-19 positive cases from outpatient and community collection sites which now total 174 positive cases.

Officials also reported that there have been a total of 4,000 patients seen at West Ashley’s specimen collection site which is located near the Citadel Mall.

In addition, three more inpatient positive cases have also been reported bringing that total to 5.

“We support our team member’s rights to privacy and protection of health information and will not confirm or deny name, role or any other identifying information related to COVID-19 positive cases for our workforce,” MUSC officials said regarding employees who have tested positive for the virus."We have internal notification and tracing protocols in place to contact those patients who may have been at high-risk for exposure from a health care provider."

Stay with www.live5news.com for more on this breaking news.

Copyright 2020 WCSC. All rights reserved.

South Carolina announces four more deaths related to COVID-19, and 210 new cases

ByRay Rivera|April 1, 2020 at 4:01 PM EDT - Updated April 1 at 4:57 PM

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - State health officials have announced four additional deaths in South Carolina related to the COVID-19 novel coronavirus.

This brings the state’s total number of deaths to 26, according to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.

The four patients were elderly individuals who also had underlying health conditions.

They were residents of Anderson, Beaufort, Lee, and Richland counties.

“Every day that we unfortunately have to report these losses is a reminder of how serious this situation is and the obligation we all have to help prevent the loss of additional South Carolinians,” Dr. Brannon Traxler, DHEC medical consultant. “Social distancing and staying home can help save lives.”

DHEC also is reporting 210 additional cases of COVID-19.

As of Wednesday, the total number statewide is 1,293 cases in 43 counties.

Currently, Charleston County has the most positive cases in the state with 190 followed by Richland County with 176.

There have been 6,326 tests for coronavirus with 1,293 testing positive and 5,033 testing negative.

The number of new cases by county are listed below.

  • Aiken County: 5 cases
  • Allendale County: 1 case
  • Anderson County: 8 cases
  • Bamberg County: 2 cases
  • Barnwell County: 1 case
  • Beaufort County: 10 cases
  • Berkeley County: 3 cases
  • Charleston County: 48 cases
  • Chester County: 1 case
  • Chesterfield County: 3 cases
  • Clarendon County: 3 cases
  • Dorchester County: 10 cases
  • Edgefield County: 2 cases
  • Fairfield County: 1 case
  • Florence County: 2 cases
  • Georgetown County: 1 case
  • Greenville County: 23 cases
  • Greenwood County: 1 case
  • Horry County: 5 cases
  • Jasper County: 1 case
  • Kershaw County: 11 cases
  • Lancaster County: 2 cases
  • Laurens County: 1 case
  • Lexington County: 7 cases
  • Orangeburg County: 2 cases
  • Richland County: 28 cases
  • Spartanburg County: 8 cases
  • Sumter County: 9 cases
  • Williamsburg County: 1 case
  • York County: 10 cases

Roper St. Francis Health reports 12 new COVID-19 cases

Earlier on Wednesdaym, Roper St. Francis Healthreported a total of 65 cases of the novel coronavirus at their hospitals.

Roper spokesman Andy Lyons said the hospital reported 12 new cases as of Wednesday.

Five of those cases have been admitted to one of their hospitals, he said.

Copyright 2020 WCSC. All rights reserved.

Roper St. Francis Health reports 12 new COVID-19 cases

ByPatrick Phillips|April 1, 2020 at 9:05 AM EDT - Updated April 1 at 9:06 AM

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Officials at Roper St. Francis Health say they have confirmed a total of 65 cases of the novel coronavirus at their hospitals.

Roper spokesman Andy Lyons said the hospital reported 12 new cases as of Wednesday.

Five of those cases have been admitted to one of their hospitals, he said.

Officials have declined to identify the specific hospital.

Roper officials reported 17 new cases Tuesday, which they said was its largest one-day increase in new cases of the novel coronavirus since it began testing patients.

Copyright 2020 WCSC. All rights reserved.

Person associated with Military Magnet Academy tests positive for COVID-19

ByRay Rivera|March 31, 2020 at 6:21 PM EDT - Updated March 31 at 6:21 PM

CHARLESTON COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - Officials with the Charleston County School District say someone associated with Military Magnet Academy has tested positive for COVID-19.

According to CCSD, the Department of Health and Environmental Control contacted Military Magnet Tuesday afternoon and reported that someone associated with the school tested positive for coronavirus with the possible exposure happening on March 18.

CCSD officials say the school’s principal did a callout to families and staff and provided them with a letter from DHEC to inform them of the situation.

“The letter from DHEC includes important information as it relates to monitoring symptoms and steps to take if someone shows signs of illness,” CCSD officials said. “School and district leaders understand the community’s concern about this matter as we work to give timely information and balance that with the individual’s right to privacy.”

Copyright 2020 WCSC. All rights reserved.

Roper St. Francis Health reports 17 new cases of COVID-19

ByPatrick Phillips|March 31, 2020 at 10:05 AM EDT - Updated March 31 at 10:05 AM

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Roper St. Francis Health is reporting its largest one-day increase in new cases of the novel coronavirus since it began testing patients.

RSFH officials reported 17 new cases of COVID-19 Tuesday morning, bringing the total number to 53.

“We are seeing more test results coming back as well as an increased number of patients being tested, and we anticipate these numbers to continue to climb for these reasons,” RSFH spokesman Andy Lyons said.

Six of the confirmed COVID-19 patients have been admitted to one of our hospitals, and the remainder were asked to self-quarantine at home, Lyons said.

On Monday, a total of 133 patients visited our drive-thru specimen collecting site at 5133 Rivers Avenue in North Charleston. That’s the largest number of patients to visit this site in a day, Lyons said.

Hospital officials have not identified which of its facilities COVID-19 patients are being treated.

Copyright 2020 WCSC. All rights reserved.

34 MUSC Health employees have tested positive for COVID-19

ByJared Kofsky | March 30, 2020 at 4:54 PM EDT - Updated March 30 at 7:51 PM

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The spread of COVID-19 is continuing to impact health care workers internationally, including right here in the Lowcountry.

Representatives of MUSC Health announced that as of Monday, 34 members of the health care system’s workforce in the Charleston area have tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

In addition, there have been five MUSC Health patients who have tested positive for COVID-19.

"We support our team member's rights to privacy and protection of health information and will not confirm or deny name, role or any other identifying information related to COVID-19 positive cases for our workforce," hospital officials wrote in a statement. "We have internal notification and tracing protocols in place to contact those patients who may have been at high-risk for exposure from a health care provider."

Meanwhile, close to 3,500 patients have now been seen at MUSC Health’s specimen collection site near the Citadel Mall in West Ashley, with 169 of these individuals testing positive for the virus.

According to health officials, the 169 who tested positive includes outpatients.

MUSC Health also revealed Monday that it is working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the National Guard to "plan a MASH-style care facility on campus," which could add roughly 270 beds for novel coronavirus patients who do not need "critical care."

Nearly 130 additional beds could come to a possible ICU space in the Ashley River Tower while the former Children's Hospital could also be used to care for COVID-19 patients, according to MUSC Health.

The health care system says that it has an “adequate” amount of ventilators at the moment, but is asking for community members who have supplies such as N95 masks and thermometers to donate them at MUSC’s North Charleston warehouse. Additional information about donations can be found here.

Copyright 2020 WCSC. All rights reserved.

South Carolina announces two more deaths related to COVID-19, and 151 new cases

ByRay Rivera | March 30, 2020 at 4:06 PM EDT - Updated March 31 at 5:26 AM

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - State health officials have announced two more deaths related to the COVID-19 novel coronavirus.

This brings the state’s total number of deaths to 18, according to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control

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 on Monday. The total number statewide is 925 cases in 41 counties, according to DHEC.

As of Monday afternoon, there have been 5085 tests with 925 testing positive and 4,160 testing negative.

Currently, Richland County has the most positive cases with 135 cases followed by Charleston County with 123.

The new cases reported on Monday, March 30 are listed below.

  • Anderson County: 2 cases
  • Barnwell County: 1 case
  • Beaufort County: 24 cases
  • Charleston County: 6 cases
  • Chesterfield County: 2 cases
  • Clarendon County: 2 cases
  • Colleton County: 1 case
  • Darlington County: 1 case
  • Dorchester County: 2 cases
  • Fairfield County: 1 case
  • Florence County: 1 case
  • Georgetown County: 1 case
  • Greenville County: 17 cases
  • Horry County: 1 case
  • Kershaw County: 16 cases
  • Lancaster County: 1 case
  • Lexington County: 6 cases
  • Marion County: 1 case
  • Orangeburg County: 5 cases
  • Pickens County: 2 cases
  • Richland County: 40 cases
  • Spartanburg County: 5 cases
  • Sumter County: 4 cases
  • Union County: 2 cases
  • York County: 7 cases

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, according to state health officials. Health officials say the lab is operating extended hours and is testing specimens seven days a week.

A press release stated that as of Monday, DHEC’s Laboratory will resume a turnaround time of 24-48 hours once specimens are received at the lab.

34 MUSC Health employees have tested positive for COVID-19

Officials with the Medical University of South Carolina announced that as of Monday there were 34 members of the health care system’s workforce in the Charleston area who have tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

According to hospital officials, five MUSC Health patients have also tested positive for COVID-19.

Close to 3,500 patients have now been seen at MUSC Health’s specimen collection site near the Citadel Mall in West Ashley, with 169 of these individuals testing positive for the virus.

According to health officials, the 169 who tested positive includes outpatients.

Roper St. Francis Health reports 11 new positive cases of COVID-19

Earlier on Monday, officials with Roper St. Francis Health reported that there were 11 new cases of COVID-19 at their facilities.

That brings the total number of cases to 36, RSFH spokesman Andy Lyons sayd.

Hospital officials have not specified which hospitals are involved.

Gov. McMaster orders closing of public access to all South Carolina beaches

On Monday, Gov. Henry McMaster ordered the closure of all public access points to South Carolina’s beaches.

This executive order also closes all public boat ramps, landings and other access points on the state’s lakes, rivers and waterways.

According to McMaster, the order does not impact the rights of private property owners living on beaches, lakes, rivers, or waterways in any way.

Copyright 2020 WCSC. All rights reserved.

Roper St. Francis Health reports 11 new positive cases of COVID-19

By Patrick Phillips | March 30, 2020 at 11:38 AM EDT - Updated March 30 at 11:43 AM

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Officials at Roper St. Francis Health reported 11 new cases of the novel coronavirus at their facilities.

That brings the total number of cases to 36, RSFH spokesman Andy Lyons said.

Two of the patients are in one of Roper's four hospitals while the others are at home in self-quarantine, Lyons said.

Hospital officials have not specified which hospitals are involved.

Earlier Monday, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control released new data over the past 14 days by zip code.

Charleston County has the most COVID-19 cases of any county in the state at 117. South Carolina is reporting a total of 774 cases and 16 deaths.

Copyright 2020 WCSC. All rights reserved.

S.C. reporting total of 16 deaths, 774 cases of COVID-19

ByPatrick Phillips|March 30, 2020 at 5:09 AM EDT - Updated March 30 at 8:10 AM

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control officials announced Sunday a 16th person has died in the state from the novel coronavirus.

They say the latest victim was an elderly patient in Horry County.

The total number of cases, as of Sunday afternoon, now stands at 774.

Charleston County has the highest number of cases, at 117. Beaufort County is reporting 50 cases, while Berkeley County reports 14 and Georgetown County now reports 10.

You can click the state map below to see total cases county by county.

Trump extends social distancing guidelines

President Trump on Sunday announced he was extending the social distancing guidelines for another month after projections showed the peak of COVID-19 cases will hit in about two weeks.

“Nothing would be worse than declaring victory before the victory is won," he said from the White House Rose Garden Sunday. "That would be the greatest loss of all. Therefore, the next two weeks and during this period, it’s very important that every one strongly follow the guidelines. We will be extending our guidelines to April 30th to slow the spread.”

Trump said he hopes the country will be in a state of recovery by June.

When asked about earlier comments that he hoped to recommend returning to normal activities by Easter, which is this Sunday, he said that was just an aspirational goal.

He also said he does not think social distancing guidelines will relax in certain regions before April 30, an idea that had been under consideration.

Copyright 2020 WCSC. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.

6 new Roper St. Francis Health patients test positive for COVID-19

ByPatrick Phillips|March 27, 2020 at 9:20 AM EDT - Updated March 27 at 9:20 AM

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Six new patients at Roper St. Francis Health tested positive within the past 24 hours for COVID-19, bringing the healthcare system’s total to 25.

These six patients were identified by our ambulatory testing centers and were asked to self-quarantine at home, Roper spokesman Andy Lyons said.

Roper St. Francis Healthcare does not have any COVID-19 patients in any of our hospitals at this time, he said,

Roper said it cannot say whether these new patients have already been included in DHEC’s numbers.

Copyright 2020 WCSC. All rights reserved.

S.C. reports 32 new cases of COVID-19; governor not issuing statewide lockdown

ByRay Rivera|March 26, 2020 at 4:42 PM EDT - Updated March 27 at 6:51 AM

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - State health officials on Thursday announced two additional deaths related to the COVID-19 novel coronavirus in South Carolina. This brings the state’s total number of deaths to nine.

One patient was an elderly person from Kershaw County who had underlying health conditions. The second patient was an elderly person from Sumter County who also had underlying health conditions.

DHEC is also investigating 32 additional cases of COVID-19.

New cases include 3 cases in Beaufort County, 3 in Berkeley County, 8 in Charleston County, 1 in Georgetown County and 2 in Orangeburg County. This brings the total number statewide to 456 cases in 39 counties.

The most coronavirus cases in the state are located in Kershaw County with 64, followed by Charleston County with 60.

According to the latest data, there have been 2,763 tests with 456 people testing positive and 2,307 testing negative.

During a press conference on Thursday afternoon, Dr. Linda Bell with DHEC reported that there was currently a shortage nationwide of chemicals, which she also referred to as reagents, which are needed for laboratories to conduct coronavirus testing.

Bell said this may lead to delays in the results of tests being made available to the public.

“This means that on a given day, the number of new cases reported could be much higher than it would typically have been if it includes results from tests that were delayed from a previous day because of potential shortages,” Bell said.

Bell stressed that DHEC does not recommend everybody who is ill to get a test to see if they have COVID-19. Heath officials have been recommending people who get ill to stay home, get better and seek medical attention only if symptoms worsen.

SC expected to have 8000 cases of coronavirus in May

Health officials also spoke about projections which showed about 8000 cases of coronavirus cases in the state by May.

The projections wererevealed for the first time on Wednesday.

Bell said DHEC was able to provide these projections since there has been an increase in cases being reported.

“Based on the information that we have today, we projected an estimate of 2657 cumulative cases by April 2, and about 8000 cases by May 2,” she said.

Those figures are cumulative cases and include all previous cases.

Bell stressed that the data only provides predictions and may change “significantly” due to various factors.

She said regardless of the projections, people should continue to follow recommendations to protect themselves and prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Gov. Henry McMaster speaking during a Thursday afternoon press conference. The governor said that citizens have been making good progress on social distancing.

Gov. Henry McMaster speaking during a Thursday afternoon press conference. The governor said that citizens have been making good progress on social distancing. (Source: Live 5 News)

Gov. McMaster not issuing statewide lockdown

Gov. Henry McMaster said that he was not planning on issuing a statewide lockdown.

This follows after the City of Charleston put into affect a “stay at home” order and Columbia City Council passed a similar order on Thursday. Charleston’s ordinanceinvolves essential businesses remaining open and only necessary travel being permitted.

The governor said he was not too familiar with the ordinances, but based on what he has seen, the orders are similar to those he gave previously.

“Most of the things that are being ordered or being done are things that I and [state health officials] have already called for for two weeks now, mostly on a voluntarily basis,” McMaster said.”So the good news is South Carolinians are following these instructions, requests and suggestions very well.”

McMaster added that citizens have been making good progress on social distancing, something state health officials say is key in preventing the transmission of diseases.

“And the good news is, people are doing it, they are staying home,” McMaster said.”They’re keeping that social distance, and we’re making great progress. So I say again, I have great faith in the people of our state.”

“As the number of cases in our communities continues to grow significantly, we must get better at our approach to controlling the spread of the disease," said Dr. Linda Bell (pictured).

“As the number of cases in our communities continues to grow significantly, we must get better at our approach to controlling the spread of the disease," said Dr. Linda Bell (pictured). (Source: Live 5 News)

DHEC continuing to urge citizens to practice good hygiene

As they have been doing for every press conference, health officials stressed the need for South Carolinians to practice good hygiene.

Those actions include social distancing, staying home and away from people when sick, and washing your hands frequently with soap and water.

“As the number of cases in our communities continues to grow significantly, we must get better at our approach to controlling the spread of the disease," Bell said.

People with signs of illness should stay at home and not attend public gatherings.

All South Carolinians are encouraged to monitor for symptoms, practice social distancing, avoid touching frequently touched items, and regularly wash their hands, especially after being in a public place.

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 visitscdhec.gov/COVID-19. Visitscdmh.netfor stress, anxiety and mental health resources from the S.C. Department of Mental Health.

Health officials announce two deaths related to COVID-19 in South Carolina, 32 additional cases

Copyright 2020 WCSC. All rights reserved.

Health officials investigating 82 new cases of COVID-19 in South Carolina; more than 8k expected by May

ByRay Rivera|March 25, 2020 at 3:53 PM EDT - Updated March 25 at 11:24 PM

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - State health officials announced on Wednesday afternoon that they are investigating 82 new cases of COVID-19 in South Carolina.

Those new cases include 16 in Charleston County, 1 in Berkeley County and 1 in Dorchester County.

Wednesday’s new cases brings the total number statewide to 424 cases in 39 counties, according to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.

According to the latest data by DHEC, there have been seven COVID-19 related deaths.

For the first time, on Wednesday, state health officials also released projections of coronavirus cases and said there is expected to be more than 8,000 cases of COVID-19 in South Carolina by May.

“This data projects 2,657 cumulative cases by April 2 and 8,053 cases by May 2, however, projected data is estimated and may change significantly due to various factors,” DHEC officials said.

In addition to the new projections, DHEC will now be reporting on positive cases by age group, gender, race and hospitalization at the time of illness.

That information is expected to be updated on a weekly basis, according to state health officials.

As of Wednesday night, there have been a total of 2,727 tests with 2,303 testing negative and 424 patients testing positive.

The new positive cases reported on Wednesday, March 25 are as follows:

  • Abbeville County: 2 cases
  • Anderson County: 3 cases
  • Beaufort County: 4 cases
  • Berkeley County: 1 case
  • Charleston County: 16 cases
  • Chesterfield County: 2 cases
  • Dorchester County: 1 case
  • Fairfield County: 1 case
  • Greenville County: 11 cases
  • Horry County: 1 case
  • Kershaw County: 5 cases
  • Marion County: 1 case
  • Orangeburg County: 1 case
  • Pickens County: 5 cases
  • Richland County: 14 cases
  • Spartanburg County: 5 cases
  • Sumter County: 2 cases
  • Union County: 1 case
  • Williamsburg County: 1 case
  • York County: 7 cases

McMaster requests all visitors to S.C. self-quarantine for two weeks if staying two or more nights

Earlier on Wednesday, Gov. Henry McMasterrequested that all out-of-state visitors to the state self-quarantine for two weeks immediately upon arrival if they’re planning a stay of two or more nights.

A spokesperson for the governor’s office said, at this point, it is simply a request.

The request came after McMaster announced on Tuesday that schools across the state would remain closed through the month of April.

‘More needs to be done:’ S.C. lawmakers want ‘stay home’ order

Two South Carolina lawmakers areurging the governor to issue a “stay at home” order for South Carolinians now that the novel coronavirus has reached the “acceleration stage.”

Rep. Neal Collins and Rep. Gary Clary are calling on McMaster to issue an order that does the following:

  • Close all businesses except essential stores and services.
  • Include in closings businesses that are nonprofits, daycare facilities, gyms and churches.
  • Close all K-12 schools, colleges, universities and technical schools for the rest of the school year.
  • Implement emergency daycare sites for essential government and stores' employees.
  • Discourage interaction outside of immediate family. Encourage solo recreation.
  • Delay the June state primaries and all local elections until August.
  • Encourage the General Assembly to use surplus funds for public health and basic needs.
  • Remove any obstacles to conduct business remotely.

“Aggressive action will slow the growth and buy us precious time to prepare,” the letter states. “It will return us to normalcy sooner.”

DHEC officials urging residents to practice good hygiene

State health officials say citizens should practice social distancing, stay home, stay away from other people if they’re sick, and wash their hands frequently with soap and water.

“As the number of cases in the state significantly increases, the method for controlling the disease spread changes from in-depth investigations of every individual case to community strategies,” said Dr. Brannon Traxler, DHEC physician consultant.

Individuals with signs of illness should stay at home and not attend public gatherings.

South Carolinians are encouraged to monitor for symptoms, practice social distancing, avoid touching frequently touched items, and regularly wash their hands, especially after being in a public place.

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 visitscdhec.gov/COVID-19. Visitscdmh.netfor stress, anxiety and mental health resources from the S.C. Department of Mental Health.

“Two previously reported cases, one in Lexington County and one in Lancaster County, have been subtracted from the total case count as those individuals were determined, through further investigation, to reside out of state,” state health officials said."DHEC reports positive cases based on an individual’s county of residence."

VIDEO: More than 8,000 cases of COVID-19 in SC by May, according to state health officials

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Roper St. Francis Health reports 6 new COVID-19 cases

ByPatrick Phillips|March 25, 2020 at 12:09 PM EDT - Updated March 25 at 12:09 PM

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Roper St. Francis Health officials say they have had a total of 19 patients test positive for COVID-19.

The latest numbers released Wednesday morning show the facility had six more cases.

"These six patients were identified by our ambulatory testing centers and were asked to self-quarantine at home," Roper spokesman Andy Lyons said.

RSFH does not have any COVID-19 patients in any of their hospitals now, Lyons said.

Copyright 2020 WCSC. All rights reserved.

College of Charleston employee tests positive for COVID-19

ByRay Rivera|March 24, 2020 at 8:07 PM EDT - Updated March 24 at 11:28 PM

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - A College of Charleston employee has tested positive for COVID-19, according to school officials.

College officials say they were made aware of the positive case on Tuesday.

“University officials have taken appropriate measures to ensure the health and safety of the campus community," College of Charleston officials said in a statement."The College and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control will continue to investigate this case as necessary.”

In addition, college officials say they have also learned of other potential unconfirmed cases among members of the campus community and continues to investigate if and/or when any of these individuals were last on campus.

“Appropriate actions will be taken as soon as more information becomes available,” CofC officials said.

Copyright 2020 WCSC. All rights reserved.

Three more patients test positive for COVID-19 at Roper St. Francis Healthcare

ByLive 5 Web Staff | March 23, 2020 at 10:28 PM EDT - Updated March 23 at 10:31 PM

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Three more patients have tested positive for COVID-19 at Roper St. Francis Healthcare.

On Monday afternoon, hospital officials said they now have a total of 13 patients who have tested positive for the virus.

Of the 13 patients, 10 were asked to self-quarantine at home. Two were admitted to hospital and are in isolation.

One of the patients died which the hospital reported on Saturday.

According to Roper, the patient died from complications associated with COVID-19 and had significant previous medical conditions.

Copyright 2020 WCSC. All rights reserved.

DHEC investigating 103 new cases of coronavirus in SC; 298 total cases

ByRay Rivera | March 23, 2020 at 4:47 PM EDT - Updated March 23 at 4:47 PM

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - State health officials say they are investigating 103 new cases of coronavirus in South Carolina.

This brings the total number statewide to 298 cases in 34 counties, according to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.

New positive cases

  • Anderson County: 5 cases
  • Beaufort County: 7 cases
  • Berkeley County: 2 case
  • Charleston County: 17 cases
  • Chester County: 1 case
  • Clarendon County: 3 cases
  • Dorchester County: 1 case
  • Darlington County: 2 cases
  • Fairfield County: 1 case
  • Florence County: 2 cases
  • Horry County: 5 cases
  • Kershaw County: 10 cases
  • Lancaster County: 2 cases
  • Lee County: 1 case
  • Lexington County: 5 cases
  • Georgetown County: 2 cases
  • Greenville County: 12 cases
  • Oconee County: 1 case
  • Orangeburg County: 5 cases
  • Richland County: 14 cases
  • Spartanburg County: 1 case
  • Sumter County: 1 case
  • York County: 3 cases

“We recognize the hardships that are facing many South Carolinians as we continue to respond to this ongoing public health event,” said Dr. Brannon Traxler, DHEC physician. “We encourage the public to focus on things that each of us can do to limit the spread of illness by washing your hands, covering your mouth when you cough, and practicing social distancing.”

Stay with www.live5news.com for more on this developing news.

Copyright 2020 WCSC. All rights reserved.

Boeing South Carolina worker tests positive for COVID-19, company says

ByPatrick Phillips | March 23, 2020 at 5:10 AM EDT - Updated March 23 at 8:50 AM

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - A Boeing South Carolina employee who works at the company’s airport campus in North Charleston has tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

This is the first case of COVID-19 confirmed at the facility, Boeing spokesperson Libba Holland said in a statement.

She said the teammate is now in quarantine and “receiving the care and treatment necessary for their recovery.”

“We have notified our teammates, are conducting thorough cleaning of the work areas and common spaces, and are following the advice of public health officials,” Holland said.

Holland said the company has also asked all co-workers of the employee who were in close contact to stay home to self-quarantine and self-monitor.

“We continue to communicate openly and frequently with our teammates and encourage everyone to exercise caution and take all appropriate health and safety measures, in coordination with their managers,” Holland said.

On Sunday afternoon, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control reported four new cases of COVID-19 in Charleston County, bringing the total in the county to 13.

Copyright 2020 WCSC. All rights reserved.

Two residents of Charleston retirement community test positive for COVID-19

ByKaitlin Stansell | March 22, 2020 at 8:44 PM EDT - Updated March 22 at 8:44 PM

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Two residents of a Charleston retirement community have tested positive for COVID-19.

Officials with the Bishop Gadsden Episcopal Retirement Community said the cases were reported to DHEC by a testing physician at MUSC.

The residents reportedly live in the apartment and cottage community and have been in self-isolation since March 3 after they returned from international travel, according to Bishop Gadsden’s director of charitable giving and communications.

On Sunday, officials said the residents have not been ill and have diligently complied with their restrictions.

“In an abundance of caution, they and their primary care physician sought testing before their quarantine period was to end,” a press release stated.

Bishop Gadsden officials said all common spaces around their residence were immediately sanitized and other community members were notified.

“We have been proactive in every way possible to protect and support our community in the face of COVID-19,” President Sarah Tipton said. “We are incredibly thankful that the residents affected have remained in good health and that the isolation, testing, and communication has mitigated further exposure.”

A press release stated that Bishop Gadsden began many measures to prevent the spread of the illness more than three weeks ago, including monitoring resident travel, restricting visitors, and closing dining venues and fitness centers.

Copyright 2020 WCSC. All rights reserved.

S.C. reports 22 new COVID-cases, bringing total to 195

March 22, 2020 at 3:57 PM EDT - Updated March 22 at 4:09 PM

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control says it is investigating 22 additional cases of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus.

This brings the total number statewide to 195 cases across 33 of the state’s 46 counties.

Here is a breakdown of the new cases reported Sunday, which includes eight new cases in Lowcountry counties:

  • Beaufort County: 2 cases
  • Berkeley County: 1 case
  • Charleston County: 4 cases
  • Colleton County: 1 case
  • Darlington County: 1 case
  • Greenville County: 2 cases
  • Hampton County: 1 case
  • Horry County: 2 cases
  • Kershaw County: 1 case
  • Lancaster County: 2 cases
  • Richland County: 3 cases
  • York County: 2 cases

“This will be an extended response and it will take all of us working together to stop the spread of this virus,” DHEC Physician Dr. Brannon Traxler said. “We want people to be prepared for more cases to occur and to continue to listen to and follow recommendations from public health officials.”

In addition to taking daily precautions for preventing against the spread of the disease, residents can take the following preparedness recommendations:

  • Know the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and what to do if you become symptomatic
  • If you're sick, stay home from work, school, and public events
  • Regularly wash your hands with soap and water
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or your elbow
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick
  • Don’t share personal items
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces
  • Set up a separate room for sick household members
  • Check in with family and friends who live alone, especially those who may be in a high-risk group

Additionally, residents can prepare for a possible illness or quarantine by:

  • Periodically checking regular prescription drugs to ensure a continuous supply at home
  • Having nonprescription drugs and other health supplies on hand, including pain relievers, stomach remedies, cough and cold medicines, fluids with electrolytes, and vitamins
  • Getting copies and maintaining electronic versions of health records from doctors, hospitals, pharmacies and other sources and store them, for personal reference
  • Talking with family members and loved ones about how they would be cared for if they got sick, or what will be needed to care for them in your home.
  • Individuals with signs of illness are asked to stay at home and not attend public gatherings. South Carolinians are encouraged to monitor for symptoms, practice social distancing, avoid touching frequently touched items (such as doorknobs and handrails), and regularly wash their hands, especially after being in a public place.
  • Individuals looking for COVID-19 test results should call the health care provider or facility that collected their test sample.
  • Anyone with concerns about their health should reach out to their healthcare provider. For information about the nationwide response to COVID-19, visitcoronavirus.gov.

Anyone with concerns about their health should reach out to their healthcare provider.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Copyright 2020 WCSC. All rights reserved.

Five additional Roper St. Francis Healthcare patients test positive for COVID-19

BySydney Pendrick | March 21, 2020 at 10:40 AM EDT - Updated March 21 at 1:48 PM

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Five additional Roper St. Francis Healthcare patients have tested positive for COVID-19, according to hospital officials.

This brings the total to 10 positive cases at Roper St. Francis Healthcare.

Roper officials said they received these tests over the course of last night and this morning.

“In addition, one of the Roper St. Francis Healthcare patients who was admitted to one of our hospitals has died from complications associated with COVID-19 and significant previous medical conditions,” Roper officials said in a statement.

“This COVID-19 patient was one of the five RSFH disclosed to the state and to media in communications earlier this week,” officials said.

Roper officials say their teammates and physicians provided palliative and supportive care consistent with advanced directives to honor the patient’s previously determined end-of-life health care wishes.

Roper officials are asking that patients who have been screened for COVID-19, are waiting for results and need to return for care to call one of our healthcare facilities ahead of time so they can properly meet their needs.

Copyright 2020 WCSC. All rights reserved.

Colleton County confirms its first COVID-19 case

ByPatrick Phillips | March 21, 2020 at 2:09 PM EDT - Updated March 21 at 2:16 PM

WALTERBORO, S.C. (WCSC) - Colleton County officials say they received word Saturday morning of the first case of COVID-19 in one of its residents.

The county says the notification came from South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control. County officials did not provide further details on the case.

“The Colleton County Sheriff’s Office is taking every precaution to ensure the safeness of our people, residences, businesses and places of worship,” deputies said in a Facebook post.

The latest reports from DHEC on Friday did not list any cases in Colleton County. As of Friday afternoon, there were a total of 125 COVID-19 cases in the Palmetto State.

Of those 125, 15 were listed in Lowcountry counties:

  • Charleston: 5
  • Berkeley: 1
  • Dorchester: 1
  • Beaufort: 8

Copyright 2020 WCSC. All rights reserved.

UofSC student on campus tests positive for COVID-19

ByWIS News 10 Staff | March 21, 2020 at 10:52 AM EDT - Updated March 21 at 12:03 PM

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - A student living in a residence hall at the University of South Carolina has tested positive for COVID-19.

The university was made aware of the student’s status yesterday evening.

The student and 17 other residents have been placed in quarantine pending further investigation.

THE LATEST |Coronavirus updates on wistv.com

UofSC is asking others who may have come into close contact with the individual who tested positive to notify health officials.

University staff will provide meals and assist the quarantined students with academic and emerging health needs that may arise.

These students are among those who applied for and received special permission to remain on campus during its closure due to extenuating personal circumstances.

RELATED STORIES:

To date, UofSC is aware of 11 additional students and one faculty member, all residing in other states or off-campus, who have tested positive for COVID-19. They are receiving the full support of the university during this trying time.

The university does not intend to publicly announce each additional case but believes it is vital that we help reinforce the message that no one is immune to COVID-19 and that we all must do our part to slow the spread of the virus.

For more informationclick here.

Copyright 2020 WIS. All rights reserved.

Charleston County patient among two who died from COVID-19 related illness

ByRay Rivera | March 20, 2020 at 7:24 PM EDT - Updated March 21 at 7:55 AM

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - On Friday night, state health officials reported two more coronavirus related deaths in South Carolina.

One patient was an elderly person with an underlying health condition from Charleston County and was a resident of Harmony Assisted Living Facility, according to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.

DHEC said the other patient was an elderly person with an underlying health condition from Florence County.

“Sadly, our state has suffered the loss of two of our own,” State Epidemiologist Dr. Linda Bell said. “In the case of both deaths, the patients had recently been reported to have been diagnosed with COVID-19. On behalf of all South Carolinians, we want to express our deepest sympathy for the families and loved ones of these two individuals.”

This brings the state’s total number of deaths to three.

The first coronavirusrelated death in South Carolina was reported on Monday.

DHEC says the patient was an elderly person who was a resident of Lexington Medical Center Extended Care Skilled Nursing Facility.

New cases of coronavirus reported on Friday

Earlier on Friday, DHECannounced that they were investigating 45 new cases of coronavirus in South Carolina.

The new cases include one in Charleston County, one in Berkeley County, one in Beaufort County, and two in Orangeburg County.

This brings the total number statewide to 125 cases in 25 counties, according to DHEC.

New cases of COVID-19 that were reported on Friday, March 20 are as follows:

  • Aiken County: 1 new case
  • Anderson County: 3 new cases
  • Beaufort County: 1 new case
  • Berkeley County: 1 new case
  • Charleston County: 1 new case
  • Clarendon County: 1 new case
  • Darlington County: 1 new case
  • Florence County: 1 new case
  • Greenville County: 5 new cases
  • Horry County: 2 new cases
  • Kershaw County: 7 new cases
  • Lexington County: 3 new cases
  • Orangeburg County: 2 new cases
  • Pickens County: 1 new case
  • Richland County: 14 new cases
  • Sumter County: 1 new case

State health officials are again emphasizing the importance of practicing disease prevention measures and following recommendations for social distancing to protect the health and safety of all South Carolinians. This includes:

  • Washing your hands often
  • Covering your cough
  • Staying home when you’re sick, and
  • Appropriately disposing tissues and other items that you’ve sneezed or coughed into.

25 S.C. counties now reporting at least one case of COVID-19

More than half of South Carolina’s 46 counties now say they have at least one positive case, The hardest-hit county is Kershaw, where one of the state’s first cases was reported.

Here is a breakdown of cases by county:

  • Abbeyville: 1
  • Aiken: 1
  • Anderson: 6
  • Beaufort: 8
  • Berkeley: 1
  • Calhoun: 1
  • Charleston: 5
  • Clarendon: 1
  • Darlington: 1
  • Fairfield: 1
  • Florence: 1
  • Greenville: 12
  • Horry: 8
  • Kershaw: 36
  • Lancaster: 3
  • Lee: 1
  • Lexington: 8
  • Orangeburg: 2
  • Pickens: 1
  • Richland: 22
  • Saluda: 1
  • Spartanburg: 1
  • Sumter: 1
  • York: 1

Copyright 2020 WCSC. All rights reserved.

State health officials report two more COVID-19 related deaths including one in Charleston County

ByRay Rivera | March 20, 2020 at 7:24 PM EDT - Updated March 20 at 7:45 PM

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - State health officials have reported two more coronavirus related deaths.

One patient was an elderly person with an underlying health condition from Charleston County and was a resident of Harmony Assisted Living Facility, according to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.

DHEC said the other patient was an elderly person with an underlying health condition from Florence County.

“Sadly, our state has suffered the loss of two of our own,” said Dr. Linda Bell, State Epidemiologist. “In the case of both deaths, the patients had recently been reported to have been diagnosed with COVID-19. On behalf of all South Carolinians, we want to express our deepest sympathy for the families and loved ones of these two individuals.”

This brings the state’s total number of deaths to three.

The first coronavirusrelated death in South Carolina was reported on Monday.DHEC says the patient was an elderly person who was a resident of Lexington Medical Center Extended Care Skilled Nursing Facility.

Copyright 2020 WCSC. All rights reserved.

5th Roper St. Francis Healthcare patient tests positive for COVID-19

ByRay Rivera | March 20, 2020 at 4:28 PM EDT - Updated March 20 at 4:31 PM

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - A fifth patient at Roper St. Francis Healthcare has tested positive for COVID-19, according to hospital officials.

Roper officials said this patient used the center’s virtual care to be seen by an RSF Express Care physician then was tested on Tuesday.

“The patient’s results came back this afternoon as positive, and the patient is quarantined at home,” Roper officials said in a statement.

“Our COVID-19 testing site at 5133 Rivers Avenue will be open Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Patients must see aVirtual Careprovider first,” officials said.

Copyright 2020 WCSC. All rights reserved.

Mt. Pleasant church leader tests positive for COVID-19, church says

ByPatrick Phillips | March 20, 2020 at 6:00 AM EDT - Updated March 20 at 6:38 AM

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - A church leader in Mount Pleasant tested positive for the novel coronavirus and at least two others are experiencing symptoms associated with the corona-virus.

St. Andrews Church in Mount Pleasant confirmed the news in an email sent to members. All three work for the church.

An associate rector got sick on Sunday and has been quarantined at home but appears to have no symptoms.

A bishop was admitted to East Cooper Medical Center with a high fever and breathing difficulties and is awaiting results on a test for the virus, according to the email. He is in isolation and is receiving no visitors.

Another associate rector has been sick and had symptoms of the virus since last week. He’s also placed himself in self-quarantine at home since that day and scheduled for a virus test in the near future.

Copyright 2020 WCSC. All rights reserved.

DHEC investigating 21 new coronavirus cases including 1 in Charleston Co., 1 Dorchester Co.

ByRay Rivera | March 19, 2020 at 5:34 PM EDT - Updated March 19 at 5:41 PM

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - State health officials have announced they are investigating 21 new cases of coronavirus in South Carolina.

Those new cases include one in Charleston County, one in Dorchester County and one in Beaufort County, according to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC).

This brings the total number statewide to 81 cases in 17 counties.

New cases

  • Abbeville County: 1 new case
  • Anderson County: 1 new case
  • Beaufort County: 1 new case
  • Charleston County: 1 new case
  • Dorchester County: 1 new case
  • Greenville County: 4 new cases
  • Horry County: 1 new case
  • Kershaw County: 4 new cases
  • Lancaster County: 1 new case
  • Lexington County: 1 new case
  • Richland County: 4 new cases
  • Saluda County: 1 new case

“Our top priorities remain preventing the spread of the disease and protecting the public health. This includes working to control spread and sharing measures that best protect our family, friends and neighbors,” said Dr. Linda Bell, State Epidemiologist. “As cases increase, we also are prioritizing identifying close contacts who are at high risk of illness from exposure and who are more likely to have serious illness.”

As the state’s number of positive cases expectedly increases, DHEC will continue to provide the number of positive cases and the county of residence.DHEC’sCOVID-19 county mapprovides the number of cases by county and is updated daily.Individuals with signs of illness are asked to stay at home and not attend public gatherings. DHEC encourages the public to follow recommendations for social distancing to protect the health and safety of all South Carolinians. This includes:

  • washing your hands frequently,
  • covering your cough,
  • staying home when you’re sick and not attend public gatherings, and
  • appropriately disposing tissues and other items that you’ve sneezed or coughed into.

Copyright 2020 WCSC. All rights reserved.

Airman at Joint Base Charleston tests positive for coronavirus

ByRay Rivera | March 18, 2020 at 8:49 PM EDT - Updated March 18 at 8:50 PM

JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - An airman assigned to Joint Base Charleston has tested positive for coronavirus, according to Air Force officials.

JBC officials said the airman is currently undergoing treatment.

Col. Terrence Adams has declared a public health emergency for JBC installation personnel and issued an order requiring all non-mission critical personnel to work from home to slow the spread of the virus within the community.

Adams said that he and his team are in constant communication with all applicable DOD agencies to provide the most up-to-date information possible.

"We are providing installation personnel and their families with up-to-date information on appropriate measures to prevent potential spread of the virus, as well as any impact to local activities,” Adams said.

Adams also encouraged members of JB Charleston and their families to continue practicing prevention measures already in place, including following strict personal and environmental hygiene, social distancing and contacting their healthcare provider if they develop any symptoms consistent with COVID-19, such as fever, coughing and shortness of breath.

“The safety of our personnel is always our number one priority and will continue to drive our decisions as we evaluate and take decisive action to protect our team and our mission,” said Adams. “All mission-critical personnel will continue to come into work in order to maintain the capabilities our mission requires to protect our national security.”

Copyright 2020 WCSC. All rights reserved.

Summerville Medical Center patient tests positive for COVID-19

ByPatrick Phillips | March 18, 2020 at 8:58 AM EDT - Updated March 18 at 10:57 AM

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Officials at Summerville Medical Center say a patient there tested positive for the novel coronavirus, COVID-19.

Hospital spokesperson Kelly Bowen said the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control notified the facility about the test Tuesday night.

"We were notified by the Health Department that we have a patient in our facility who tested positive for COVID-19," Bowen said in a statement. "The patient was in isolation at the time."

A release from Dorchester County states the patient is a Charleston County resident who arrived at Summerville Medical Center via self-transport. The patient remains in the care of Summerville Medical Center, Dorchester County officials say.

Officials have not said whether the patient is male or female or given the patient’s age.

Summerville Medical Center has protocols in place to care for patients with infectious diseases, and we have been working diligently to help ensure we’re prepared for COVID-19 cases, Bowen said.

"More than 10 days ago, as we often do during heavy influenza outbreaks, we instituted visitor restrictions," Bowen said. "Visitors and patients are being directed to use specific entrances so they can all be screened."

The hospital has positioned supplies at points of entry, so that any potential symptomatic patient who arrives can be properly masked and immediately isolated, she said.

“We will continue to reinforce infection prevention protocols and are working in partnership with the Health Department and the CDC,” Bowen said.

Copyright 2020 WCSC. All rights reserved.

S.C. reports first COVID-19 related death

Live 5 Web Staff

March 16, 2020 at 11:48 AM EDT - Updated March 16 at 12:44 PM

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control says the state has its first death related to the novel coronavirus, COVID-19.

DHEC says an elderly person who was a resident of Lexington Medical Center Extended Care Skilled Nursing Facility died. DHEC did not say the name, age or sex of the person who died.

“We regret to report that South Carolina has suffered its first death in an elderly person recently reported to have been diagnosed with COVID-19 who was a resident of Lexington Medical Center Extended Care Skilled Nursing Facility,” Dr. Brannon Traxler, DHEC Physician Consultant, said. “Our state health officials continue to work with national and local partners to respond to this ongoing public health matter.”

DHEC is working with the facility to identify all contacts and is providing guidance about infection control measures to prevent the spread.

“We know that many South Carolinians are concerned about what impact this virus may have on themselves, their loved ones, and our state,” Traxler said. “This is a rapidly evolving public health event, and DHEC takes every new infectious disease seriously. This is an example of the importance of taking precautions to protect those at higher risk, like the elderly and people with serious underlying health conditions.”

DHEC emphasizes the importance of practicing disease prevention measures and following recommendations for social distancing to protect the health and safety of all South Carolinians.

This includes:

  • Washing your hand frequently
  • covering your coughs and sneezes
  • Staying home when you’re sick
  • Appropriately disposing tissues and other items that you’ve sneezed or coughed into.

DHEC will alert the public on all COVID-19-related deaths.

Copyright 2020 WCSC. All rights reserved.

DHEC reports new possible case of coronavirus in South Carolina

ByLive 5 Web Staff | March 11, 2020 at 4:57 PM EDT - Updated March 12 at 5:09 AM

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - State health officials have announced they are investigating a new possible case of coronavirus in South Carolina.

According to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, the new possible case of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus is a woman in Lancaster Couny.

This brings the total number of presumptive positive cases to eight, along with two confirmed cases.

DHEC officials said a contact investigation is underway, and at this time there is no known travel outside the state or known contact with another case.

“Her samples tested positive at DHEC’s Public Health Laboratory,” DHEC officials said."The patient is currently hospitalized and isolated. DHEC is working with the healthcare facility and taking routine measures to prevent possible spread."

While the sample tested positive at DHEC’s Public Health Laboratory, the results are required to be confirmed by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

DHEC has tested a total of 51 individuals for COVID-19, which includes the eight presumptive positive cases and two confirmed cases.

DHEC treats all presumptive positives as cases of COVID-19.

“Our top priorities remain preventing spread of the disease and protecting public health,” said Dr. Linda Bell, State Epidemiologist. “Our systems for protecting public health are working. We’re continuing to work with the CDC and our state and local partners, however, based on what’s occurring in other states and countries, we expect community spread to grow.”

DHEC officials said they will update the public as soon as the confirmatory test results from the CDC or other reference laboratories that are now testing are available, and as other new information is known.

“We understand residents will have concerns about this indication of community spread, however, I urge the public to remain calm and follow recommendations to prevent the spread of illness, particularly those who are older or those who have underlying health conditions because they may have more severe illness if infected,” Bell said.

State health officials say at this time, precautions are recommended to maintain daily routines of protecting against illness by practicing good hygiene, washing your hands, covering your cough.

Individuals with signs of illness are asked to take seriously the recommendation to stay home from school and work and not attend public gatherings.

Copyright 2020 WCSC. All rights reserved.

6 possible S.C. novel coronavirus cases, 2 student interns self-isolating

ByPatrick Phillips | March 9, 2020 at 4:00 AM EDT - Updated March 9 at 9:56 AM

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCSC) - Gov. Henry McMaster said Sunday said state health authorities are following established protocols, urging people not to panic at news of four new possible cases of the novel coronavirus in the state.

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control said Sundayit had identified four additional possible cases of the virus, also known as COVID-19, in the state.

“There is no cause for public alarm or speculation," McMaster said. "It’s important to remember that each individual is responsible for their own actions and personal hygiene. If you feel sick, stay home and contact your doctor. Or from your home, you can consult with a doctor for free with MUSC’s online web site athttps://MUSC.care. South Carolinians should continue to follow recommendations and information provided by official sources.”

As of Sunday afternoon, a total of six people in the state had tested presumptive positive for COVID-19, according to DHEC.

Those tests are being sent to the Centers for Disease Control for confirmation.

DHEC is currently monitoring 16 people for possible COVID-19 infection. This means they are keeping an eye out for symptoms that could indicate they are sick. Officials say that monitoring takes 14 days, the longest known length of time it takes for people to become symptomatic if they are exposed to the virus.

The agency says as of Sunday, it had completed monitoring of 56 people, meaning they did not show symptoms within the 14-day timeframe.

A total of 11 tests have come back negative, DHEC says.

Potential cases in Kershaw, Spartanburg, Charleston Counties

Two of the four new cases are direct contacts of the first presumptive positive case, an elderly Camden woman who is being treated at a Midlands hospital.

One of them is a woman who has hospitalized for reasons unrelated to COVID-19 and is isolated. The other, an elderly man, was temporarily admitted to a healthcare facility, was discharged, and is isolated at home.

The third new case is a woman from Camden with no known connection, at this time, to the other presumptive positive cases from Camden. She was evaluated at a healthcare facility, was not hospitalized and is currently isolated at home.

The fourth new case is a man from Spartanburg County with no known connection to any of the other presumptive positive cases. He is not hospitalized and is currently isolated at home. Officials say he had recently traveled to Italy.

The remaining case is an MUSC team member in Charleston who had recently traveled to France and Italy and has been isolated at home. DHEC officials said she is not hospitalized and does not require medical treatment.

Only the first case, the elderly woman in her 80s receiving treatment in the Midlands, is one in which investigators are still trying to determine how she became infected.At a Saturday morning news conference, State Epidemiologist Dr. Linda Bell said it is not yet clear how she was exposed to the virus.

“We don’t have a history that she has traveled outside of the United States and outside of South Carolina,” she said. “At this time we’re still investigating the potential source of her infection. Community spread is one possibility as her source, if she has no history of travel, and we’re continuing to investigate to see if she had contact with someone who did potentially travel elsewhere and then that would make this case a connection to a travel-associated case, and we’re still working to investigate all of those details.”

The Kershaw County School District said Sunday two high school studentswho are interns at the emergency room of a Kershaw medical facility are self-isolating as a precaution.

The students, one from North Central High School and the other from Camden High School, were at the hospital when a Kershaw County woman in her 80s was admitted. That woman became one of the first of two patients to test presumptive positive for COVID-19.

District officials say they were advised that the students would not be able to transmit the disease for several days. However, they have asked the families of the students to self-isolate just as a precaution next week.

Copyright 2020 WCSC. All rights reserved.

DHEC investigating two possible cases of coronavirus in South Carolina

ByRay Rivera | March 6, 2020 at 7:24 PM EST - Updated March 7 at 12:09 AM

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - State health officials are investigating two possible cases of COVID-19 novel coronavirus in South Carolina.

Officials with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control said there was one case located in Kershaw County and one case in Charleston County.

DHEC officials said the cases are not linked.

Kershaw County patient

One patient is an elderly woman from Kershaw County who has been hospitalized and is in isolation.

County officials say they are closely monitoring the situation.

Charleston County patient

The second patient is a woman from Charleston County who recently traveled to France and Italy, and who is an employee with the Medical University of South Carolina.

A statement by MUSC states the employee did not return to work after visiting Europe. In addition, DHEC said the patient did not require hospitalization and is self-isolated at home.

Hospital officials said they learned from DHEC on Friday night that one of their team members is presumed positive for COVID-19.

According to MUSC, the woman self-identified to DHEC after learning that community transmission had occurred in an area she recently visited during her trip to Europe.

Hospital officials say she did not return to work and still has not at this time.

“Our team member practiced excellent public health and social responsibility by pursuing testing, taking appropriate hygienic precautions and self-quarantining at home," MUSC officials said.

A statement by the hospital states that the patient had mild illness and has been asymptomatic for the past three days and is committed to remaining in self-quarantine for the remainder of the CDC-recommended 14-day time frame.

“We support our team member’s rights to privacy and protection of health information and will not confirm or deny name, role or any other identifying information. We want to emphasize the informed and calm response this team member took and we want to publicly commend her for doing so,” MUSC officials said.

DHEC continuing to look at both cases

DHEC officials are working with Centers of Disease Control and Prevention to identify all those who might have been in contact with the two affected individuals.

Those people will be monitored for fever and respiratory symptoms, according to health officials.

“We understand that residents have concerns about how the virus may impact South Carolinians,” said Dr. Linda Bell, State Epidemiologist. “While the risk to the public remains low, there is no evidence of ongoing transmission in the community at this time and our primary goals remain prevention and control.”

According to health officials, the samples submitted tested positive at DHEC’s Public Health Laboratory.

DHEC authorities said the results are required to be confirmed by the CDC laboratory and are in the process of being submitted for confirmatory testing.

Test results typically take 24 to 48 hours.

DHEC has tested 10 people for COVID-19 including the two presumptive positive cases announced on Friday.

“The remaining tests are negative,” DHEC said."DHEC has the ability to test 80 to 100 patients per day.”

“No additional precautions are recommended for the public at this time, beyond the simple daily precautions that everyone should always take steps to stop the spread of illness, including getting the flu vaccine, washing your hands, covering your cough, and appropriately disposing tissues and other items contaminated with respiratory droplets,” said Dr. Bell.

Governor holding press conference on Saturday

Gov. Henry McMaster will be holding a press conference with state public health officials on Saturday at 10 a.m.

“Healthcare authorities in South Carolina have been preparing for this eventuality and there is no reason for public alarm," Gov. Henry McMaster said in a statement on Friday."DHEC is working with the CDC on confirmation for these cases. South Carolinians should continue to follow recommendations and information provided by official sources.”

DHEC officials say they are taking proactive steps to be prepared to protect the health of South Carolina’s communities, including informing healthcare providers throughout the state of recommendations for testing, the availability for testing and the appropriate precautions for the general public.

“We have developed strong relationships with health providers through the years,” said Dr. Bell. “Together, we have planned, prepared, and tested our ability to respond to public health events like this.”

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more serious diseases such as pneumonia.

VIDEO: DHEC investigating two possible cases of novel coronavirus in South Carolina

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