COLUMBIA, S.C. (WSAV) — The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) has reported the state’s first death and five new cases related to COVID-19.
Authorities said the patient who died was from Lexington County and resident of Lexington Medical Center Extended Care Skilled Nursing Facility.
“We regret to report that South Carolina has suffered its first death in an elderly person recently reported to have been diagnosed with COVID-19,” said Dr. Brannon Traxler, DHEC Physician Consultant, adding, “Our state health officials continue to work with national and local partners to respond to this ongoing public health matter.”
DHEC says its working with the facility to identify all contacts and is providing guidance about infection control measures to prevent spread.
As of Monday afternoon, the total number of cases statewide is now at 33.
This includes the five new cases:
- One from Lexington County: The case is an elderly person who was a close contact to a previously reported case. This person remains in isolation at a healthcare facility.
- Four from Kershaw County: Three of the cases are middle-aged individuals who are known contacts to a previously reported case and are currently isolated at home. One case is an elderly person. Investigation is underway and further details are not currently available.
“We know that many South Carolinians are concerned about what impact this virus may have on themselves, their loved ones, and our state,” said Dr. Traxler. “This is a rapidly evolving public health event, and DHEC takes every new infectious disease seriously. This is an example of the importance of taking precautions to protect those at higher risk, like the elderly and people with serious underlying health conditions.”
DHEC emphasizes the importance of practicing disease prevention measures and following recommendations for social distancing to protect the health and safety of all South Carolinians: This includes:
- Washing your hands frequently,
- covering your cough,
- staying home when you’re sick and not attend public gatherings, and
- appropriately disposing tissues and other items that you’ve sneezed or coughed into.
For the latest information about DHEC’s COVID-19 response efforts, visit scdhec.gov/COVID-19.