DHEC Update – four new deaths

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The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) announced four additional deaths related to the COVID-19 novel coronavirus. At of Tuesday (Mar. 31) this brings the state’s total number of deaths to 22.
Three patients were elderly individuals who also had underlying health conditions, and one patient was a middle-aged individual who did not have underlying health conditions. They were residents of Aiken, Calhoun, Marion, and York counties.
“Our hearts go out to the families and friends of these individuals, as well as to the medical professionals who helped care for them,” said Dr. Brannon Traxler, DHEC medical consultant. “Their loss is a reminder that the risk of inaction on all of our parts is far too great. Social distancing and staying home have never been more critical in our fight against this pandemic.”
DHEC also is reporting 158 additional cases of COVID-19. As of Tuesday, the total number statewide is 1,083 cases in 42 counties*.

The number of new cases by county are:

Abbeville County: 1 case
Aiken County: 4 cases
Anderson County: 8 cases
Bamberg County: 2 cases
Beaufort County: 17 cases
Berkeley County: 1 case
Calhoun County: 1 case
Charleston County: 19 cases
Clarendon County: 7 cases
Dorchester County: 5 cases
Fairfield County: 1 case
Florence County: 4 cases
Georgetown County: 2 cases
Greenville County: 18 cases
Greenwood County: 2 cases
Horry County: 5 cases
Kershaw County: 6 cases
Lancaster County: 1 case
Lexington County: 13 cases
Oconee County: 1 case
Orangeburg County: 1 case
Pickens County: 1 case
Richland County: 13 cases
Spartanburg County: 7 cases
Sumter County: 5 cases
York County: 13 cases
Late last week, DHEC reported a backlog of specimens to be tested that had developed at DHEC’s Public Health Laboratory due to a nationwide shortage in the reagents (chemicals) required to perform testing. As of March 27, DHEC’s Laboratory has the necessary reagents, and the backlog has now been eliminated. DHEC’s Public Health Laboratory is operating extended hours and is testing specimens seven days a week, and it has returned to its regular timeframe of 24-48 hours after specimen arrival for providing testing results to health care providers.
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.
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 individual’s county of residence, as it is provided to the department. DHEC’s COVID-19 map will adjust to reflect any reclassified cases.