For the fourth day in a row, coronavirus cases in South Carolina have risen sharply and Kershaw County, SC remains the epicenter of the pandemic. On Tuesday, the S.C. Department Department of Health and Environmental Services (SCDHEC) reported 14 new coronavirus cases with five of those from Kershaw County – which is home to around 66,000 people and is located approximately thirty miles to the northeast of the state capital of Columbia, S.C.
To put that number in context, South Carolina saw thirteen cases between March 5 and March 14.
The current statewide total for confirmed or “presumptive positive” cases now stands at 47. A total of 409 South Carolinians have been tested for coronavirus with the results coming back negative.
“We know that many South Carolinians are concerned about what impact this virus may have on themselves, their loved ones, and our state,” Dr. Brannon Traxler, a physician consultant for SCDHEC said in a statement. “This is a rapidly evolving public health event, and DHEC takes every new infectious disease seriously.”
Two of the new cases are from Charleston. Officials at Roper St. Francis hospital announced that a current patient and a former patient tested positive for COVID-19, per reports from The (Charleston, S.C.) Post and Courier.
One of the new cases is from Beaufort county where three cases were reported on Saturday.
The state’s largest one-day increase came just a day after South Carolina reported its first official COVID-19 death – an elderly woman from Lexington county.
Kershaw county – particularly the small town of Camden, South Carolina with a population of around 7,000 – has been a hotspot for the illness with the most cases in the state by far. Per SCDHEC, here is a breakdown of cases by county:
- Kershaw County: 22
- Beaufort County : 4
- Horry County: 4
- Charleston County: 3
- Lancaster County: 3
- Lexington County: 2
- Anderson County: 2
- Greenville County: 2
- Spartanburg County: 1
- Richland County: 1
- York County: 1
- Calhoun County: 1
- Fairfield County: 1
“We are currently only seeing ongoing transmission in one county, Kershaw County,” Dr. Linda Bell of SCHEC said.
Cases have been sharply increasing since Friday when SCDHEC announced that tests would be more widely available.
On Tuesday, South Carolina’s only PGA Tour tournament RBC Heritage in Hilton Head Island was canceled.
On Tuesday, McMaster ordered to close down all restaurants and bars dine-in services. He also banned public gatherings of 50 people or more.
On Monday afternoon, Trump asked Americans to limit their social gatherings even further to no less than 10 people. Officials across the country are urging people to practice social distancing over the next few weeks to prevent the number of cases from skyrocketing and overwhelming the healthcare system.
If you have symptoms…
MUSC and Prisma are 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. To access Prisma Health’s online care, click here and enter the promo code COVID19.
Prisma and MUSC have both set up drive-through clinics for collecting samplings for testing after patients are first screened by doctors using virtual visits.
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