DHEC Announces Additional Possible Cases of 2019 Novel Coronavirus in South Carolina
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
March 12, 2020
COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) is investigating two new possible cases of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus from Kershaw and Lancaster Counties, the agency announced today. This brings the total number of presumptive positive cases to six, along with six confirmed cases.
New preliminary information
- The case from Lancaster County is a household contact (family member or close friend) of a previous case. He was evaluated at a healthcare facility and is currently isolated at home.
- The case from Kershaw County is a Camden man who is currently hospitalized and in isolation. DHEC is working with the healthcare facility and taking routine measures to prevent possible spread.
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 (CDC). DHEC treats all presumptive positives as cases of COVID-19.
DHEC has tested a total of 87 individuals for COVID-19, which includes the six presumptive positive cases and six confirmed cases. DHEC 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,” Bell 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.”
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.
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.
If in the future if our medical experts and epidemiologists feel a change to this recommendation is needed based on our surveillance and disease investigation activities, we will immediately notify the public.
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 MUSC.care and use the promo code COVID19 and be screened without having to leave your home.
For more information about COVID-19, visit the DHEC website at scdhec.gov/COVID19 or the CDC website here.