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Five Richland 1 Students Had Indirect Contact With Person Being Tested For Coronavirus

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As a precautionary measure, five Richland County School District One students and their family members are under a self-quarantine after possible exposure to the coronavirus. Those students are not showing symptoms, according to district officials.

“District administrators were notified this morning that five students had indirect contact with a person who is being tested for the coronavirus,” the Richland 1 announcement said Monday.

Those students attend Rosewood Elementary School, Hand Middle School, and Dreher High School in Columbia, South Carolina.

Richland One officials said in a release that the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) is investigating. However, media reports show confusion between the district and the agency.

“We passed along the information we received to DHEC,” Richland One spokesperson Karen York told FITSNews. “We called and spoke with Dr. Traxler at DHEC before we sent out any communications.”

However, SCDEC Director Dr. Rick Toomey told WLTX that they were not consulted before the announcement went out.

“We are already cleaning and disinfecting all of our schools with EPA-approved products,” Richland One officials said.

Across the globe, the coronavirus has been mostly sparing children. In China, just 2.5 percent of all COVID-19 cases were children. However, kids can still catch coronavirus, they’re just a lot less likely to see serious symptoms — making them “secret carriers.”

On Monday, SCDHEC announced that a seventh possible coronavirus case in South Carolina. The newest case is a man from Camden who was not hospitalized and is currently at home in isolation. Like two other cases, he was a “direct contact” with an elderly Camden woman who was was announced as a presumptive positive on March 6, 2020.

Yesterday, SCDHEC announced four additional South Carolinians have tested positive for the 2019-2020 Wuhan, China coronavirus.

Two of the four cases announced Sunday are also “direct contacts” with the Camden woman. One is a woman who was “hospitalized for reasons unrelated to (coronavirus) and is isolated at this time.” The other is an “elderly man” who “was temporarily admitted to a healthcare facility, was discharged, and is currently isolated at home.”

The third case announced Sunday – a woman – is also based in Camden, S.C., although SCDHEC officials say she has “no known connection, at this time, to the other presumptive positive cases from Camden.”

“She was evaluated at a healthcare facility, was not hospitalized and is currently isolated at home,” the agency announced in a statement released early Sunday evening.

The fourth and final new cases announced Sunday is a man from Spartanburg county who has “no known connection” to any of the other cases.

“He is not hospitalized and is currently isolated at home,” SCDHEC announced. “He had recently traveled to Italy.”

According to SCDHEC, there is updated information on the first two positive cases of coronavirus in the state. In the case of the aforementioned elderly woman from Camden, she was reportedly “transferred to a health care facility in the Midlands on March 6 to receive a higher level of care” and “remains isolated.”

The woman from Charleston County is “symptom free and continuing to self-monitor.”

Free virtual care

MUSC is offering free virtual care for all South Carolinians experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.

Visit MUSC.care and use the promo code COVID19 for instructions on how to access a medical professional through your phone or computer without having to go to the doctor’s office.

SCDHEC urged South Carolinians with general questions about coronavirus to visit scdhec.gov/COVID19 or the CDC website here. The agency has also established a coronavirus call line at 1-855-472-3432.

Residents concerned about their own personal health — or who are showing symptoms such as fever, cough or shortness of breath — are being urged to call their personal doctor or health care provider.

What you can do

Because Coronavirus is spread mostly by human contact, hand washing is one of the best preventative measures you can take.

“Thorough hand washing (for at least 20 seconds at a time) helps prevent the spread of infectious diseases, including COVID-19,” Prisma Health experts said. If hand washing isn’t possible, use hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol content.

Other preventative actions according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC):

• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with
unwashed hands.

The virus is spread “mainly between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes,” according to the CDC. Symptoms are fever, cough, and shortness of breath.

Though there is no vaccination or treatment for coronavirus, data from China shows that 81 percent of the cases were mild and didn’t require hospitalization.

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