State health officials investigating 14 additional cases of coronavirus in South Carolina

"Coronaviruses" are a large family of viruses with a wide range of symptoms, ranging from SARS...
"Coronaviruses" are a large family of viruses with a wide range of symptoms, ranging from SARS and MERS to the common cold. The new coronavirus causing the outbreak, COVID-19, first appeared in Wuhan, China in late 2019.(Centers for Disease Control)
Updated: Mar. 17, 2020 at 5:28 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - State health officials say they are investigating 14 additional cases of coronavirus in South Carolina.

This brings the total number statewide to 47 cases in 13 counties.

County location of new cases

  • 1 new case from Beaufort County
  • 2 new cases from Charleston County
  • 1 new case from Calhoun County
  • 5 new cases from Kershaw County
  • 1 new case from Lexington County
  • 1 new case from Richland County
  • 1 new case from York County
  • 1 new case from Greenville County
  • 1 new case from Horry County

“Sadly, this includes our state’s first reported death of a patient,” said Dr. Linda Bell with DHEC.

That patient was an elderly person from Lexington County and a resident of Lexington Medical Center, according to state health officials.

Bell said the patient had underlying health issues before testing positive for COVID-19.

Because of those related issues, Bell said that they don’t know the exact cause of death.

“While we have been expecting a day in which we would have to make this announcement, it’s never easy to have to report on the death of a fellow member of our community,” Bell said." On behalf of all South Carolinians, we want to express our deepest sympathy for the family and loved ones that this patient."

State health officials said the patient’s loss is a reminder of the importance of taking precautions to protect those at higher risk like the elderly and people with serious underlying health conditions.

“Our top priorities remain preventing the spread of disease, and protecting the public’s health,” Bell said.

“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.

As the state’s number of positive cases expectedly increases, DHEC officials say they will continue to provide the number of positive cases and the county of residence. One case previously reported in Kershaw County has been corrected to a Fairfield County case.

“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.”

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.

Several South Carolina health systems are offering telehealth options to the public. For telehealth options and the latest information about DHEC’s COVID-19 response efforts, please visit For more information about COVID-19, visit the CDC website here.

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