DHEC: Six confirmed cases of coronavirus, six possible in South Carolina

Updated: Mar. 12, 2020 at 5:47 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - State health officials announced on Thursday afternoon that there are now six confirmed cases of coronavirus and six possible cases in South Carolina.

Officials with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) said included in that number was one new case in Kershaw County and a new possible case in Lancaster County.

These two new cases make eight total in Kershaw County, two in Lancaster County, one in Charleston County and one in Spartanburg County.

The new presumptive case from Lancaster County is a household contact, a family member or close friend, of a previous case. He was evaluated at a healthcare facility and is currently isolated at home.

The new presumptive case from Kershaw County is a Camden man who is currently hospitalized and in isolation. DHEC say they are working working with the healthcare facility and taking routine measures to prevent possible spread.

DHEC has tested a total of 87 individuals for COVID-19, which includes the six presumptive positive cases and six confirmed cases.

While the samples tested positive at DHEC’s Public Health Laboratory, the results are required to be confirmed by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention. DHEC treats all presumptive positives as cases of COVID-19.

DHEC officials say 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 will continue to monitor the situation and will modify our recommendations to address what the public health data is showing in South Carolina and in other areas,” Dr. Linda Bell with DHEC said. “Our top priorities remain preventing the spread of the disease and protecting the public health. This includes working to control spread and measures that best protect all individuals.”

According to DHEC, at this time, it is recommended that people maintain their daily routines of protecting against illness by practicing good hygiene, washing your hands, and 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,” DHEC officials said."We are monitoring the status of the virus in South Carolina to make decisions about large gatherings. The cancelation of schools and events is not needed at this time. We are constantly monitoring our epidemiological data and following CDC for strategies to slow the spread of disease in our communities."

Health officials said residents who are showing symptoms such as fever, cough or shortness of breath should call their personal doctor or healthcare provider.

“If an individual doesn’t have a primary care physician, MUSC Health is providing free telehealth screening to all South Carolinians. Anyone experiencing symptoms can visit and use the promo code COVID19 and be screened without having to leave your home,” DHEC officials said.

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