45 new cases of coronavirus announced in S.C.; total now 125

Updated: Mar. 20, 2020 at 7:16 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Friday, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) announced 45 new cases of the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19.

That brings the total number of cases across the state to 125, spread across 25 counties.

Fourteen new cases were reported in Richland County. The other county with the most new cases was Kershaw County, where DHEC confirmed there is community spread of the virus.

The first cases in Sumter and Orangeburg counties were also reported.

Here is the breakdown of cases by county:

  • Kershaw: 36
  • Richland: 22
  • Greenville: 12
  • Lexington: 8
  • Horry: 8
  • Beaufort: 8
  • Anderson: 6
  • Charleston: 5
  • Lancaster: 3
  • Orangeburg: 2
  • Sumter: 1
  • Calhoun: 1
  • Fairfield: 1
  • Lee: 1
  • Clarendon: 1
  • Saluda: 1
  • Abbeville: 1
  • Aiken: 1
  • Berkeley: 1
  • Darlington: 1
  • Dorchester: 1
  • Florence: 1
  • Pickens: 1
  • Spartanburg: 1
  • York: 1

DHEC said cases are reported based on where the patients live -- not where they are receiving treatment.

For people who realize DHEC reported 81 cases Thursday and 45 new cases Friday, but only 125 cases total now -- officials said one case previously reported in Charleston County was determined to be a resident of another state.

“The public needs to take our recommendations to prevent spread seriously so we can best protect our family, friends and neighbors,” Dr. Linda Bell, State Epidemiologist, said. “Unfortunately, these case numbers will continue to increase. The agency is working around the clock to prevent the spread of this disease, focusing on those who are most high-risk for experiencing severe illness from the disease. I’d like to remind all South Carolinians that we all have a responsibility to take the recommended steps for limiting spread.”

Bell said residents should be prepared for a growing number of cases in the state.

People who are sick need to stay home.

Anyone with concerns about their health, or who believes they are showing symptoms such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath, should call their health care provider.

People with general questions about coronavirus should call the DHEC Care Line at 855-472-3432. The line is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day. Callers are urged to be patient as call volumes are high.

People without a doctor can take advantage of free online screening from Prisma Health and the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC).

MUSC has an online platform to aid with coronavirus diagnosis and care. Go to musc.care and access the COVID-19 platform. The service is free with code: COVID19.

Prisma Health also has a free virtual visit, which allows patients to video conference with a doctor instead of coming into a facility. The goal is to keep patients who don’t need to be treated at a hospital at home. Go to prismahealth.org/virtual-visit and use promo code COVID19 for a free virtual visit.

To see the latest information from DHEC, click or tap here.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said the coronavirus is spread mainly from person-to-person by those in close contact, or through coughing and sneezing by someone who’s infected.

Symptoms of coronavirus can show up between two and 14 days of exposure, health officials say. Symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. But some severe cases can lead to death.

Those who are at the highest risk of developing a serious cases of COVID-19 are the elderly and those who are already being treated for chronic medical diseases.

Young people who contract the virus are not likely to have a serious case, research shows. However, the CDC said about 40% of people who needed to be hospitalized due to the coronavirus are between the ages of 20 and 54.

Doctors say there is not currently a treatment or vaccine for COVID-19, but over-the-counter medications, like cold and cough medicines, can help treat symptoms of the virus.

The mortality rate for people with the virus has been widely reported around 2 to 3%, but health experts note the actual percentage is not that high, as not all cases are diagnosed or reported.

The rate is higher than the flu, which kills on average about 0.1% of people who get it, based on a 10-year average of data from the CDC.

Again, anyone with concerns about their health, or who believes they are showing symptoms such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath, should call their health care provider.

For more information on COVID-19, click or tap here to visit the CDC’s website.

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