SCDHEC update

DHEC reports today announced four additional deaths related to the COVID-19 novel coronavirus. This brings the state’s total number of deaths to 22.

Three of the four were elderly patients who also had underlying health conditions, and one patient was a middle-aged individual who did not have underlying health conditions. They were residents of Aiken, Calhoun, Marion, and York counties.

“Their loss is a reminder that the risk of inaction on all of our parts is far too great. Social distancing and staying home have never been more critical in our fight against this pandemic,” DHEC medical consultant Brannon Traxler said.

DHEC also reports 158 additional cases of COVID-19. As of today, the total number statewide is 1,083 cases in 42 counties. The number of new cases by county are listed below.

Abbeville County: 1 case

Aiken County: 4 cases

Anderson County: 8 cases

Bamberg County: 2 cases

Beaufort County: 17 cases

Berkeley County: 1 case

Calhoun County: 1 case

Charleston County: 19 cases

Clarendon County: 7 cases

Dorchester County: 5 cases

Fairfield County: 1 case

Florence County: 4 cases

Georgetown County: 2 cases

Greenville County: 18 cases

Greenwood County: 2 cases

Horry County: 5 cases

Kershaw County: 6 cases

Lancaster County: 1 case

Lexington County: 13 cases

Oconee County: 1 case

Orangeburg County: 1 case

Pickens County: 1 case

Richland County: 13 cases

Spartanburg County: 7 cases

Sumter County: 5 cases

York County: 13 cases

Late last week, DHEC reported a backlog of specimens to be tested that had developed at DHEC’s Public Health Laboratory due to a nationwide shortage in the reagents (chemicals) required to perform testing.

As of March 27, DHEC’s Laboratory has the necessary reagents, and the backlog has now been eliminated. DHEC’s Public Health Laboratory is operating extended hours and is testing specimens seven days a week, and it has returned to its regular timeframe of 24-48 hours after specimen arrival for providing testing results to health care providers.