South Carolina Announces Latest COVID-19 Update (April 24, 2020)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
April 24, 2020
COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) today announced 168 new cases of the novel coronavirus COVID-19, and 8 additional deaths.
This brings the total number of people confirmed to have COVID-19 in South Carolina to 5,070 and those who have died to 157. One previously reported death of an individual from Florence County has been removed from the state’s total number of deaths as it’s being reviewed to confirm whether the individual’s death was related to COVID-19.
The deaths occurred in six elderly individuals from Aiken (1), Beaufort (1), Charleston (1), Dorchester (1), Greenville (1), and Kershaw (1) counties, and two middle-aged individuals from Greenville (1) and Lexington (1) counties.
The number of new cases by county are listed below.
Aiken (1), Abbeville (1), Allendale (1), Anderson (3), Beaufort (3), Berkeley (10), Charleston (5), Chesterfield (1), Clarendon (12), Colleton (1), Darlington (8), Dillon (6), Dorchester (1), Edgefield (1), Fairfield (1), Florence (34), Georgetown (1), Greenville (8), Greenwood (1), Horry (2), Jasper (2), Kershaw (2), Lancaster (1), Lee (3), Lexington (8), Marion (2), Marlboro (2), Newberry (1) Orangeburg (1), Richland (29), Saluda (4), Spartanburg (3), Sumter (2), Williamsburg (5), York (2)
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.
DHEC Hosts Telebriefings for Faith-Based Leaders and Environmental Justice Advocates
Today, DHEC hosted two telebriefings with faith-based leaders and environmental justice advocates, which more than 300 participants registered to attend. DHEC recognizes that community- and faith-based organizations and environmental justice advocates play an important role in statewide outreach efforts, and these telebriefings were focused on ensuring all South Carolinians receive the information and resources available to help them protect themselves and their communities from COVID-19.
At-risk Community Outreach and Engagement Efforts
While COVID-19 is exacting a great toll on all communities across the country, data reveals that African Americans make up a disproportionate number of positive cases, including in South Carolina. African Americans make up about 27 percent of the state’s population but comprise 43 percent of COVID-19 cases and 56 percent of related deaths, as indicated in our demographic data.
At the core of this problem is that African Americans are disproportionately affected by conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, asthma, and obesity and are more likely to encounter circumstances that limit adequate access to care. People with such health conditions and limited access to care are at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19. DHEC recognizes the critical need to address these inequities and is collaborating with community partners by:
- Working with churches to help communicate prevention messaging
- Taking our WIC services 100% over-the-phone
- Expanding options in a variety of food categories to address WIC product shortages
- Working with environmental justice advocates to raise awareness
- Increasing availability of public health data to help provide information to assist in decision making
- Partnering with the South Carolina Commission for Minority Affairs and Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) to reach minority and rural populations across the state
Increasing Testing in Rural Communities
FEMA recently provided to DHEC 15 COVID-19 rapid-testing machines that have been distributed to hospitals across the state with a special emphasis on those serving rural populations. Additionally, the agency is working with the South Carolina Primary Care Association and the Office of Rural Health to assess the FQHCs in the state and their testing capacity. DHEC is prepared to assist the FQHCs with any needed resources to increase testing capacity.
For today’s latest data and information, including updated maps, demographics and more, visit www.scdhec.gov/COVID19.
*As new information is provided to the department, some changes in cases may occur. Cases are reported based on the person’s county of residence, as it is provided to the department. DHEC’s COVID-19 map will adjust to reflect any reclassified cases.