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SC Coronavirus Update: 44 New Cases, 2 More Deaths — Kershaw County Remains Epicenter

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Coronavirus cases in South Carolina surged again on Tuesday with 44 new cases reported, according to the latest numbers from the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Services (SCDHEC).

There are now a total of 342 cases in 36 of the state’s 46 counties, according to SCDHEC officials. Tuesday’s surge is not close to what South Carolina saw yesterday with 103 new cases reported on Monday. However, SCDHEC officials later clarified that yesterday’s report included two days of testing from the state lab.

On Tuesday evening, DHEC reported that two more people have died from COVID-19 in South Carolina — bringing the state’s total to seven deaths. Both patients were elderly. One person was from Florence County had underlying health conditions and the other person was from Horry County did not have underlying health conditions.

“After further investigation, an individual who passed away and was reported as residing in Kershaw County has been determined to have a Sumter County residence,” the SCDHEC release said. “DHEC reports cases based on the county of residence.

According to the latest data, Kershaw County — with a population just over 65,0000 — remains the epicenter for the pandemic in South Carolina with 58 cases. According to SCDHEC, Kershaw County only has 99 of the state’s 12,006 general hospital beds.

Nearby Richland County, home to the state’s capital and a population of 411,592, has the second highest number of cases in SC at 45. Richland County has 1,274 total hospital beds, according to DHEC.

SCDHEC is providing a county-by-county breakdown of cases. And here are the latest numbers on that score …

  • Kershaw County: 58
  • Richland County: 45
  • Greenville County: 39
  • Charleston County: 36
  • Beaufort County: 22
  • Lexington County: 19
  • Horry County: 19
  • Anderson County: 16
  • York County: 11
  • Orangeburg County: 8
  • Darlington County: 8
  • Sumter County: 8
  • Lancaster County: 7
  • Berkeley County: 4
  • Clarendon County: 5
  • Florence County: 5
  • Spartanburg County: 4
  • Dorchester County: 3
  • Georgetown County: 2
  • Greenwood County: 2
  • Lee County: 2
  • Oconee County: 2
  • Fairfield: 2
  • Abbeville County: 1
  • Aiken County: 2
  • Calhoun County: 1
  • Chester County: 1
  • Colleton County: 1
  • Dillon County: 1
  • Edgefield County: 1
  • Jasper County: 2
  • Marlboro County: 1
  • Newberry County: 1
  • Saluda County: 1
  • Chesterfield County: 1
  • Pickens: 1

Still, though, as mentioned earlier testing remains limited – and as a result, the latest numbers are not capturing anything resembling the full scope of the virus’ impact on the state.

SCDHEC is not providing a breakdown in its releases of how many confirmed coronavirus cases required hospitalization – which would be helpful in assessing the severity of the confirmed cases.

State health officials urged the continued practice of social distancing and good hygiene, but also stressed the importance of mental health during these troubled times.

“While we reiterate the importance of taking daily precautions to prevent spread, we want to make sure South Carolinians are also taking steps to address the feelings of stress and anxiety that arise in this type of prolonged situation,” Dr. Jonathan Knoche, DHEC physician, said in the press release. “Our partners at the Department of Mental Health have resources available to help, and we continue to provide guidance for coping with stress on DHEC’s COVID-19 webpage.”

On Tuesday afternoon, the state of South Carolina announced that all government-run schools would remain shuttered through the end of April and the City of Charleston announced a shutdown of all essential businesses.

Yesterday, Dr. Linda Bell of the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control said South Carolina is in the “acceleration phase” of the disease because of the amount of community spread that is occurring.

Bell said many people are not taking the social distancing measures seriously because they were not aware of specific cases happening in their own communities.

“If we change these behaviors, we can slow the spread and stop the transmission,” Bell said. “Follow the guidance that has been provided, regardless on whether or not you know of specific cases in your neighborhood to community.”

On Saturday, this news outlet published some internal “predictive analysis” models shared with leaders of the S.C. General Assembly by officials with the S.C. Emergency Management Division (SCEMD).

According to those models, total cases could eclipse 1,700 by the end of the month – with cases continuing to crop up for two months thereafter. However, Monday’s cases surpassed projections, but Tuesday’s total was just under SCEMD predictions.

A number of South Carolina hospitals are providing free virtual screenings for those experiencing COVID-19 symptoms (just use promo code COVID19):

As of Tuesday afternoon, a total of 49,619 Americans had contracted coronavirus – including an astounding 25,600 cases in the state of New York, according to a database compiled by The New York Times.

A total of 615 Americans had died from the virus.

Worldwide, there were 372,757 confirmed cases in 194 countries or territories with 16,231 fatalities, according to the latest data from the World Health Organization (WHO).

This news outlet is committed to giving our readers the very latest, most relevant information we have regarding this unfolding situation. To check out more of our coronavirus coverage, click on the link below …