DHEC announces 3 additional deaths, 187 new cases in South Carolina

Updated: Apr. 7, 2020 at 6:46 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control has announced three more deaths related to COVID-19 in the state.

The deaths, according to SCDHEC, were elderly patients with underlying health conditions. One resident was from Greenville County and two others were from Lexington County.

The announcement brings the state’s total to 51.

SCDHEC has also announced 187 new COVID-19 cases in South Carolina. With these new cases, the state’s total now reaches 2,417.

  • Here’s a look at the newest cases by county in the state:
  • Aiken (1)
  • Anderson (3)
  • Bamberg (1)
  • Beaufort (6)
  • Berkeley (3)
  • Charleston (5)
  • Chester (1)
  • Chesterfield (1)
  • Clarendon (10)
  • Darlington (2)
  • Fairfield (1)
  • Florence (6)
  • Georgetown (1)
  • Greenville (10)
  • Greenwood (1)
  • Hampton (1)
  • Horry (15)
  • Jasper (1)
  • Kershaw (7)
  • Lancaster (3)
  • Lee (1)
  • Lexington (6)
  • Marion (1)
  • Marlboro (2)
  • Oconee (1)
  • Orangeburg (2)
  • Pickens (1)
  • Richland (29)
  • Saluda (1)
  • Spartanburg (32)
  • Sumter (15)
  • Union (3)
  • Williamsburg (1)
  • York (13)
  • Negative tests from DHEC Public Health Laboratory - 7,182
  • Negative tests from private laboratories - 14,081
  • Total negative tests - 21,263
  • Total positive tests - 2,417
  • Total number of tests performed in South Carolina - 23,680

As of April 7, 6,376 hospital beds are being used and 5,594 beds are available, according to SCDHEC. Officials said there has been a 5% decrease in hospital bed utilization since March 23.

Additionally, residents can prepare for a possible illness or quarantine by:

  • Periodically checking regular prescription drugs to ensure a continuous supply at home
  • Having nonprescription drugs and other health supplies on hand, including pain relievers, stomach remedies, cough and cold medicines, fluids with electrolytes, and vitamins
  • Getting copies and maintaining electronic versions of health records from doctors, hospitals, pharmacies, and other sources and store them, for personal reference
  • Talking with family members and loved ones about how they would be cared for if they got sick, or what will be needed to care for them in your home.

Individuals with signs of illness are asked to stay at home and not attend public gatherings.

South Carolinians are encouraged to monitor for symptoms, practice social distancing, avoid touching frequently touched items (such as doorknobs and handrails), and regularly wash their hands, especially after being in a public place.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, is spread mainly from person-to-person by those in close contact, or through coughing and sneezing by someone who’s infected.

Symptoms of the 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, COVID-19 causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. But some severe cases can lead to death.

Most people can recover from the virus at home using over-the-counter medications to treat their symptoms.

Those who are at the highest risk of developing a severe case 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.

Those who are hospitalized with serious cases of COVID-19 have trouble breathing, and many need support from ventilators, which breathe for them. The U.S. is working to produce more of the machines to prepare, but experts fear a shortage of life-saving devices.

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.

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. Avoid going to the doctor or an emergency room unless the situation is life-threatening.

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.

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

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