CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - State health officials announced on Wednesday afternoon that they are investigating 82 new cases of COVID-19 in South Carolina.
Those new cases include 16 in Charleston County, 1 in Berkeley County and 1 in Dorchester County.
Wednesday’s new cases brings the total number statewide to 424 cases in 39 counties, according to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.
According to the latest data by DHEC, there have been seven COVID-19 related deaths.
For the first time, on Wednesday, state health officials also released projections of coronavirus cases and said there is expected to be more than 8,000 cases of COVID-19 in South Carolina by May.
“This data projects 2,657 cumulative cases by April 2 and 8,053 cases by May 2, however, projected data is estimated and may change significantly due to various factors,” DHEC officials said.
In addition to the new projections, DHEC will now be reporting on positive cases by age group, gender, race and hospitalization at the time of illness.
That information is expected to be updated on a weekly basis, according to state health officials.
As of Wednesday night, there have been a total of 2,727 tests with 2,303 testing negative and 424 patients testing positive.
The new positive cases reported on Wednesday, March 25 are as follows:
- Abbeville County: 2 cases
- Anderson County: 3 cases
- Beaufort County: 4 cases
- Berkeley County: 1 case
- Charleston County: 16 cases
- Chesterfield County: 2 cases
- Dorchester County: 1 case
- Fairfield County: 1 case
- Greenville County: 11 cases
- Horry County: 1 case
- Kershaw County: 5 cases
- Marion County: 1 case
- Orangeburg County: 1 case
- Pickens County: 5 cases
- Richland County: 14 cases
- Spartanburg County: 5 cases
- Sumter County: 2 cases
- Union County: 1 case
- Williamsburg County: 1 case
- York County: 7 cases
Earlier on Wednesday, Gov. Henry McMaster requested that all out-of-state visitors to the state self-quarantine for two weeks immediately upon arrival if they’re planning a stay of two or more nights.
A spokesperson for the governor’s office said, at this point, it is simply a request.
The request came after McMaster announced on Tuesday that schools across the state would remain closed through the month of April.
Rep. Neal Collins and Rep. Gary Clary are calling on McMaster to issue an order that does the following:
- Close all businesses except essential stores and services.
- Include in closings businesses that are nonprofits, daycare facilities, gyms and churches.
- Close all K-12 schools, colleges, universities and technical schools for the rest of the school year.
- Implement emergency daycare sites for essential government and stores' employees.
- Discourage interaction outside of immediate family. Encourage solo recreation.
- Delay the June state primaries and all local elections until August.
- Encourage the General Assembly to use surplus funds for public health and basic needs.
- Remove any obstacles to conduct business remotely.
“Aggressive action will slow the growth and buy us precious time to prepare,” the letter states. “It will return us to normalcy sooner.”
State health officials say citizens should practice social distancing, stay home, stay away from other people if they’re sick, and wash their hands frequently with soap and water.
“As the number of cases in the state significantly increases, the method for controlling the disease spread changes from in-depth investigations of every individual case to community strategies,” said Dr. Brannon Traxler, DHEC physician consultant.
Individuals with signs of illness should stay at home and not attend public gatherings.
South Carolinians are encouraged to monitor for symptoms, practice social distancing, avoid touching frequently touched items, and regularly wash their hands, especially after being in a public place.
Anyone with concerns about their health should reach out to their healthcare provider or use the telehealth services provided by several health care systems.
“Two previously reported cases, one in Lexington County and one in Lancaster County, have been subtracted from the total case count as those individuals were determined, through further investigation, to reside out of state,” state health officials said."DHEC reports positive cases based on an individual’s county of residence."