Health officials announce two more coronavirus related deaths in South Carolina

VIDEO: Health officials announce two more coronavirus related deaths in South Carolina

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Health officials announced Tuesday night that there were two more additional deaths related to the coronavirus.

This brings the state’s total to seven, according to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.

One patient was an elderly person from Florence County who had underlying health conditions.

The second patient was an elderly person from Horry County with no underlying health conditions.

In addition, DHEC officials made a clarification Tuesday night on a previous coronavirus related death.

“After further investigation, an individual who passed away and was reported as residing in Kershaw County has been determined to have a Sumter County residence,” read a statement by state health officials."DHEC reports cases based on the county of residence."

New cases of coronavirus in SC

On Tuesday afternoon, health officials announced that they were investigating 44 new cases of COVID-19 in South Carolina.

The new cases include 5 in Charleston County, 1 in Dorchester County and 1 in Beaufort County.

This brings the total number statewide to 342 cases in 36 counties.

“As the number of cases and community spread expectedly increase in our state, we reiterate the importance of taking daily prevention practices to protect yourself and your community,” said Dr. Jonathan Knoche, DHEC physician. “We all have the responsibility to protect ourselves, our families, friends and community.”

South Carolina schools to remain closed through April

On Tuesday afternoon, Gov. Henry McMaster and South Carolina Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman announced the state’s schools will remain closed for the duration of the month of April and released the following joint statement:

“At this time, students, parents, and families should plan for South Carolina’s schools to remain closed through the month of April," read a joint statement by Gov. Henry McMaster and South Carolina Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman."Our dedicated teachers and school administrators have done a tremendous job in making it possible for our students to learn at home. We understand that the prospect of schools remaining closed for an extended period of time places stress and strain on parents and children. Rest assured, if there is any way to safely open our schools earlier, we will do that, but schools must remain closed to protect the health and safety of South Carolinians.”

Charleston mayor to propose ‘stay at home’ ordinance, close non-essential businesses

Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg said he plans to propose an ordinance at Tuesday night’s city council meeting to temporarily close non-essential businesses and direct citizens to stay at home for 14 days.

“But with yesterday’s announcement that the Covid-19 pandemic has officially reached the acceleration phase in our our state, we must now take even more dramatic action, while there’s still time to save thousands of lives right here in Charleston by flattening the curve," Tecklenburg said at a news briefing Tuesday.

He said he has ordered the temporary closure of all city parks and playgrounds in addition to city government buildings, but pledged all essential city services will continue.

DHEC emphasizing practicing good hygiene

DHEC said South Carolinians are encouraged to monitor for symptoms, practice social distancing, avoid touching frequently touched items (like doorknobs and handrails), and regularly wash their hands, especially after being in a public place.

“While we reiterate the importance of taking daily precautions to prevent spread, we want to make sure South Carolinians are also taking steps to address the feelings of stress and anxiety that arise in this type of prolonged situation,” said. Dr. Knoche. “Our partners at the Department of Mental Health have resources available to help, and we continue to provide guidance for coping with stress on DHEC’s COVID-19 webpage.”

Visit scdmh.net for stress, anxiety and mental health resources from the S.C. Department of Mental Health. DHEC continues to provide new and updated guidance about COVID-19 at scdhec.gov/COVID19.

Anyone with concerns about their health should reach out to their healthcare provider or use the telehealth services provided by several health care systems. For telehealth options and the latest information about DHEC’s COVID-19 response efforts, please visit scdhec.gov/COVID-19.

New positive cases as of Tuesday, March 24

  • Aiken County: 1 case
  • Anderson County: 1 case
  • Beaufort County: 1 case
  • Charleston County: 5 cases
  • Chesterfield County: 1 case
  • Clarendon County: 1 case
  • Darlington County: 1 case
  • Dorchester County: 1 case
  • Florence County: 2 cases
  • Greenville County: 8 cases
  • Horry County: 3 cases
  • Jasper County: 1 case
  • Kershaw County: 4 cases
  • Marlboro County: 1 case
  • Richland County: 4 cases
  • Spartanburg County: 1 case
  • Sumter County: 4 cases
  • York County: 4 cases

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