Daycare worker among nine new coronavirus cases in South Carolina

Lancaster County Schools closed for 14 days

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS/WBTV) - A middle-aged daycare worker from Kershaw County is one of nine new possible cases of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus.

The statewide total of coronavirus cases has jumped to 28. North Carolina has 32 cases.

“On Friday, March 13 the childcare center voluntarily closed as a precaution after the governor issued school closures for Kershaw and Lancaster counties. We are working closely with this childcare facility to immediately investigate possible exposures at this facility,” said Dr. Linda Ball, State Epidemiologist.The facility is completely cooperative and staff are abiding by DHEC’s and CDC’s recommended actions for helping to protect this population.”

These new South Carolina cases include three from Kershaw County, three from Horry County, two from Anderson County and one from Greenville County.

“We emphasize the importance of practicing disease prevention measures and following recommendations for social distancing to protect our community as a whole,” said Ball.

Gov. McMaster ordered on Sunday that all schools in South Carolina to close until the end of the month.

On Friday, Gov. Henry McMaster declared a state of emergency for South Carolina amid the spread of novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, after health officials said another South Carolina resident tested positive for coronavirus.

The governor also ordered all schools to close in Kershaw and Lancaster counties, where the virus is spreading from person-to-person in the community.

Schools there will remain closed for 14 days, beginning Monday, March 16, the governor announced.

Additionally, the governor’s order directed the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) to consult with the state’s Superintendent of Education and local school district leadership to provide guidance on if and when remaining school districts should decide to close schools and for what period of time.

McMaster also ordered the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) to consult with the state’s Superintendent of Education to “provide guidance on if and when remaining school districts should decide to close schools and for what period of time.”

The governor said he will keep state government offices open during normal business hours. Visitation at state and local correctional facilities in all 46 counties shall be suspended immediately

The governor also said DHEC “shall immediately restrict visitation to nursing homes and assisted living facilities with the exception of end of life situations.”

With the state of emergency declaration, price gouging laws will go into effect and a State Emergency Management Plan will be activated.

According to officials, the law would have gone into effect following a declaration of emergency from either Governor Henry McMaster or President Donald Trump. McMaster declared a state of emergency on Friday afternoon with President Trump following with the national declaration just a few hours later.

According to state law, it is unlawful to “rent or sell or offer to rent or sell a commodity at an unconscionable price.” The law will remain in effect until the declaration ends.

“We can expect normal price increases, but we may see businesses and individuals looking to unfairly take advantage of the situation through price gouging of things like hand sanitizer, cleaning supplies, toilet paper, and other commodities as defined by the statute,” Attorney General Alan Wilson said in a statement. “By our law, that’s a criminal violation and an unfair trade practice,” Wilson said. “We wish to emphasize, as we have seen in the past, that price gouging under the current law is difficult to prove, even substantial price increases. What might seem large to the public may not be illegal in court.”

Anyone who is found guilty of violating the state’s price gouging law will be fined up to $1,000, serve up to 30 days in jail, or both.

Officials said previously they have the ability to test up to 100 people a day, but it’s clear far fewer people than that are getting tested.

Cases are required to be confirmed by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). However, DHEC says they treat all presumptive positives as cases of COVID-19.

President Donald Trump announced a national state of emergency on Friday.

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.

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.

Additional actions to be included in the governor’s executive order:

  • All state government offices shall remain open for operation during their normal business hour
  • Visitation at state and local correctional facilities in all 46 counties shall be suspended immediately
  • DHEC shall immediately restrict visitation to nursing homes and assisted living facilities with the exception of end of life situations
  • State price gouging laws shall go into effect immediately
  • The State Emergency Management Plan shall be activated

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