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South Carolina Announces Latest COVID-19 Update (April 27, 2020)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
April 27, 2020

 

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) today announced 142 new cases of the novel coronavirus COVID-19, and three additional deaths were reported to DHEC.

This brings the total number of people confirmed to have COVID-19 in South Carolina to 5,613 and those who have died to 177.  

The deaths occurred in three elderly individuals from Clarendon (1), Florence (1), and Greenville (1) counties.

The number of new cases by county are listed below.
Abbeville (2), Aiken (3), Anderson (4), Beaufort (1), Cherokee (1), Chesterfield (2), Clarendon (4), Darlington (3), Dillon (3), Dorchester (2), Edgefield (1), Fairfield (7), Greenville (44)*, Greenwood (1), Hampton (1), Horry (7), Kershaw (5), Lancaster (1), Laurens (6), Lee (4), Lexington (5), Marion (1), Marlboro (1), Oconee (2), Pickens (4), Richland (5), Saluda (5), Spartanburg (6), Sumter (2), Williamsburg (4), York (5)

*A private laboratory submitted a month's history of positive test results for Greenville County residents to DHEC this weekend, causing a spike in new cases in the county. This will potentially continue to be reflected as elevated case counts for the next couple of days as DHEC verifies and confirms these cases for public reporting. DHEC has contacted this lab to explain that cases of COVID-19 are urgently reportable within 24 hours to DHEC to prevent this from recurring.

DHEC’s COVID-19 webpage is updated daily with a map of positive cases as well as the most current recommendations for protecting against COVID-19.

DHEC Provides Increase Access to Healthy Food Options for WIC Families
In response to demand for nutritious foods during the COVID-19 pandemic, DHEC is providing additional food items to South Carolina WIC participants. Beginning April 27, 2020, and until further notice, participants will have more purchasing options for milk, yogurt, fruits, and vegetables.

DHEC encourages South Carolina families who are experiencing loss of income related to COVID-19 to apply to our WIC program. Since March, more than 4,000 new participants have enrolled in South Carolina’s WIC program. To apply for WIC, call 1-855-472-3432 to make an appointment. For more information, click here.

DHEC Conducting Cross Analysis of Death Certificates and Confirmed COVID-19 Cases
As part of the agency’s ongoing efforts to ensure that every South Carolinian who has died from COVID-19 is counted, DHEC is conducting a cross analysis of deaths reported directly by providers with deaths reported on death certificates. This action aligns with efforts currently underway by other states. DHEC continues to take steps to improve data quality and the reporting of COVID-19 confirmed cases and deaths. We will update the public as soon as the analysis is completed, which is anticipated for early next week. DHEC will continue to release new information as it becomes available.

Testing in South Carolina
As of April 27, DHEC’s Public Health Laboratory has conducted 14,160 tests for COVID-19. Of these tests, 1,816 positive and 12,344 were negative. A total of 52,145 total tests by both DHEC’s Public Health Laboratory and private labs have been conducted in the state. DHEC’s Public Health Laboratory is operating extended hours and is testing specimens seven days a week. The Public Health Laboratory’s current timeframe for providing results to health care providers is 24-48 hours.

Hospital Bed Capacity
As of this morning, 4,824 hospital beds are available and 6,558 are utilized, which is a 57.6% statewide hospital bed utilization rate.

Cases by County and ZIP Code
DHEC’s interactive maps were updated to include the latest confirmed and estimated COVID-19 cases by county and ZIP code. The estimated cases represent possible cases based on evidence that for every known case of COVID-19, there could be up to 9 people with the virus who remain unidentified in the community. By including estimates, we hope to better convey the risk of disease spread within our communities.

How South Carolinians Can Protect Themselves
Evidence is increasing about the high rates of infection in people who do not have symptoms and don’t know they are infectious. This places everyone at risk of getting the virus or unknowingly transmitting it to someone else. South Carolinians are encouraged to stay home and minimize contact with people outside their households to prevent the spread of the disease. Other steps the public should take include:

  • Practicing social distancing
  • Wearing a mask while out in public
  • Avoiding touching frequently touched items
  • Regularly washing your hands
  • Monitoring for symptoms

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. Visit scdmh.net for stress, anxiety and mental health resources from the S.C. Department of Mental Health.

*As new information is provided to the department, some changes in cases may occur. Cases are reported based on the person’s county of residence, as it is provided to the department. DHEC’s COVID-19 map will adjust to reflect any reclassified cases.

 

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