60 cases of COVID-19 now reported in South Carolina

60 cases of COVID-19 now reported in South Carolina
There are now 60 cases of COVID-19 in South Carolina, state health officials say. (Source: AP)

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Health officials reported 13 new COVID-19 cases in South Carolina on Wednesday, bringing the total number of cases to 60 across 14 counties.

The new cases include one patient in Charleston County and two in Beaufort County. That brings the total number of cases in Lowcountry counties to 10.

Kershaw County, where one of the state’s first two cases was reported, remains the hardest hit, with 25 current cases.

The death toll in the state remains at one, in Lexington County.

Here are the latest counts by county:

  • Kershaw: 25
  • Beaufort: 6
  • Horry: 5
  • Charleston: 4
  • Richland: 4
  • Greenville: 3
  • Anderson: 2
  • Lancaster: 2
  • Calhoun: 1
  • Fairfield: 1
  • Lee: 1
  • Spartanburg: 1
  • York: 1

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“Our top priorities remain preventing the spread of the disease and protecting the public health,” DHEC physician consultant Dr. Brannon Traxler said. “This includes working to control spread and sharing measures that best protect our neighbors, friends and family.”

South Carolina senators approved $45 million in emergency funding for state health officials to fight the new coronavirus. State health officials will spend the extra $45 million on additional employees and overtime, protective equipment, a public education campaign and other items.

As senators debated Tuesday, Gov. Henry McMaster ordered all bars to close and restaurants to stop dine in service. The governor also delayed tax deadlines until June.

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 or sneeze
  • Staying home when you’re sick and not attend public gatherings
  • 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.

On Friday, President Donald Trump issued a declared a National Emergency concerning the novel coronavirus disease outbreak, and McMaster declared a state of emergency in South Carolina.

On Wednesday, Trump quickly signed into law a $100 billion-plus bill to boost testing for the virus and guarantee paid sick leave for millions of workers hit by it.

Federal officials are focusing on the Trump administration’s $1 trillion plan to stabilize a national economy reeling from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. The pandemic endangering the health of untold millions of Americans is also threatening financial ruin for individuals and businesses. The plan’s centerpiece is $500 billion to start issuing direct payments to Americans by early next month. The plan would also funnel cash to businesses to help keep workers on payroll.

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