Jack West, son of late S.C. governor John West, dies after contracting coronavirus

Updated: Mar. 25, 2020 at 11:06 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - The latest death from the coronavirus in South Carolina has hit the political community hard, and has more lawmakers calling on the governor to issue a shelter-in-place order.

Jack West, the son of late Gov. John West, died Wednesday after contracting COVID-19, sources told WIS.

West a longtime political lobbyist from Camden, the Post and Courier reported.

West’s death is the eighth in the state of South Carolina. The state Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) confirmed seven others have died.

West’s family was not immediately available for comment.

Sen. Mia McLeod shared the following statement with WIS:

“Jack was extremely smart, giving and funny. He was a family man, who adored his wife, kids and grandkids. Even took the time to get to know my boys and our team members’ families. He’d invite us to his home in Camden and we’d go, hang out and have a blast! His wife even shared her recipe for delicious Peach Enchiladas and some of our kids still make them.

"Before I ran for the House in 2010, our consulting firms partnered and teamed up to represent the City of Columbia for several years. I really got to know and love Jack because he was just ‘good people.’

"If he told me something, I could count on it. Having a friend and colleague I could trust and depend on was a big deal, even then. It’s an even bigger deal and much more of a rare find in today’s politics.

"Even after I got elected, we kept in touch and he’d call me if he needed something or stop by my office to check on me, chat, joke, laugh and catch up.

"My heart breaks for his family and his best friend, Ron. I can’t even begin to imagine the pain and emptiness they’re feeling today. It’s a huge loss for them and a sobering moment for all of us who love Jack and will miss him dearly.”

Earlier in the day Wednesday, DHEC announced 82 new cases of the coronavirus in the state, bringing the total to 424.

While the governor has not ruled out a stay-at-home order, he has not made a move in that direction at this time.

McMaster has asked all out-of-state visitors to self-quarantine for 14 days when coming South Carolina.

Tuesday, the governor ordered law enforcement to break up groups of three or more in public if officers deem it poses a public health risk. That order does not apply to businesses or family outings, he said.

He has also shut down all dine-in services at restaurants and bars, and closed public schools through April.

DHEC urges small businesses to “practice social distancing and consider if they provide an essential service” when considering whether to stay open.

Use this interactive map to see the number of COVID-19 cases by county:

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