2 confirmed coronavirus cases in S.C., 5 others with presumptive positive results

Evidence of community spread in Camden, DHEC says

2 confirmed coronavirus cases in S.C., 5 others with presumptive positive results
This story will be updated as South Carolina officials provide new information Monday. (Source: KLTV)

WEST COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Two cases of coronavirus in South Carolina have been confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Those two cases include one in Camden, which is in Kershaw County, and one in Charleston County.

Monday, Gov. Henry McMaster was joined by officials from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) to share the update.

Officials also announced one new presumptive positive coronavirus case in Camden.

So right now across South Carolina there are two confirmed coronavirus cases and five presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 -- seven total.

Health officials said all seven patients are in good condition.

Of the seven cases in the state, five have been identified in Camden, one case is in Charleston County and the other is in Spartanburg County, officials said.

There is evidence of community spread in Camden, DHEC said. The five cases there include one confirmed case and four presumptive positive cases as of Monday afternoon.

The first case identified in Camden was that of a woman in her 80s who has since been transferred to Prisma Health Richland Hospital in Columbia. Her case was confirmed by the CDC. It’s unclear how the woman was initially exposed to the virus.

Three other people in Camden with presumptive positive COVID-19 results -- including the new case announced Monday -- came into direct contact with others in the community with the virus, officials said.

One other case in Camden does not have a connection to the other patients, but that person recently traveled to Italy, health officials said.

The patient in Charleston County recently traveled to France and Italy. Again, her case was confirmed by the CDC.

Officials said the patient in Spartanburg also recently traveled to Italy.

DHEC said as of Monday afternoon, 24 people have tested negative and they are monitoring 56 other people for signs of the virus.

“The risk for the general public to get COVID-19 remains low,” DHEC Director Rick Toomey said.

DHEC said there is no reason for schools to close at this time. They also said there is no reason for people who are not sick to self-quarantine or avoid events.

That bit of advice was in direct response to an announcement Monday from the Richland One School District. Richland One said five of its students had “indirect contact” with someone who was being tested for coronavirus. The district said those students and their families decided to self-quarantine.

LOCAL CORONAVIRUS UPDATES

DHEC said those measures were not necessary. Officials also said they could not confirm anyone mentioned by Richland One was actually tested for coronavirus.

Monday evening, Clemson University officials announced they are monitoring someone in the campus community for coronavirus.

The university did not say whether the person has been tested by DHEC yet.

People who are showing symptoms should avoid crowds and contact their doctor, health officials said. Coronavirus symptoms include fever, coughing and shortness of breath.

DHEC says for patients to be tested for coronavirus in South Carolina, they must meet CDC criteria. There is no charge for testing.

According to officials, they have the capacity to test 100 samples per day in South Carolina. So far, the state has gotten nowhere near to that number per day.

The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) has launched a FREE online platform to aid with coronavirus diagnosis and care. Log onto www.musc.care and access the COVID-19 platform. The service is free with code: COVID19.

FACTS ABOUT CORONAVIRUS

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. They can be mild to severe, and in some cases can lead to death.

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

While most young people who contract the virus experience mild symptoms, they can spread the disease to people who are more at risk.

Those at high risk for a severe coronavirus case are elderly people with pre-existing medical conditions, health officials said Monday.

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.

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Anyone with concerns about their health, or who believes they are showing symptoms such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath, is urged to call their healthcare 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. during the week. Callers are urged to be patient as call volumes are high.

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