DHEC Announces Additional Five Cases of 2019 Novel Coronavirus in South Carolina
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
March 16, 2020
COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) is investigating five additional cases of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus. This brings the total number of cases statewide to 33.
As the state’s case counts expectedly increase, DHEC will publicly report information about facilities and locations that impacted communities should be aware of where special precautions may be needed.
“We emphasize the importance of practicing disease prevention measures and following recommendations for social distancing to protect our community as a whole,” said Dr. Brannon Traxler, DHEC physician consultant.
Preliminary information for new cases
- One new case is from Lexington County. The case is an elderly person who was a close contact to a previously reported case. This person remains in isolation at a healthcare facility.
- Four new cases are from Kershaw County. Three of the cases are middle-aged individuals who are known contacts to a previously reported case and are currently isolated at home. One case is an elderly person. Investigation is underway and further details are not currently available.
People with symptoms such as fever, cough and shortness of breath should call their healthcare provider. If an individual doesn’t have a primary care physician, several healthcare systems are providing telehealth services so residents may be evaluated by a healthcare provider without having to leave their homes. If it’s determined an individual should be tested, they will be instructed where to go to be tested. Individuals with minor illness are advised not to go to emergency departments.
“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. The state’s first reported death 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 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.
DHEC will alert the public on all COVID-19 related deaths. For the latest information about DHEC’s COVID-19 response efforts, please visit scdhec.gov/COVID19. For more information about COVID-19, visit the CDC website here.