121 new cases statewide, 2 more deaths reported
Two cases of COVID-19 in Laurens County in as many days have been confirmed by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC).
DHEC made the confirmations late Friday and Saturday. Saturday’s announcement was among 121 new cases of the novel coronavirus confirmed across the state. DHEC also confirmed two more deaths due to the disease. The two deceased victims were both elderly patients with underlying medical conditions in Horry and Richland counties, according to DHEC.
DHEC also said the high number of confirmed cases Saturday is due to a backlog of tests being cleared from the agency’s Public Health Laboratory. Officials said a shortage of necessary chemicals to complete the tests caused the backlog and the lab is now processing the tests seven days a week with a replenished supply of chemicals.
The identities of the patients in Laurens County are not being released due to medical privacy laws.
Tests for COVID-19 have been limited in the county, but have been administered to some Prisma Health Laurens County Memorial Hospital inpatients and to those referred by a Prisma physician, County Council Chairman David Pitts told council members during a Tuesday conference call.
As of Saturday afternoon, 660 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in 40 counties across the state, including 12 deaths.
“We are still asking the public to continue to follow the preventive guidelines from the CDC and SC DHEC,” Avery said in a release.
Here are those guidelines:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water is not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Refrain from handshaking,
- Refrain from any large group gatherings
The release continued, “Do not be alarmed if you see our EMS personnel wearing a mask, gloves and safety glasses with an outer garment that is not part of our normal uniform attire on some calls for service. We are dressed this way for our protection as well as the protection to you our citizens. Should you have any questions of that person, please ask them to produce their official county ID which each one carries with then and should be visible.”
For general questions and the latest information about COVID-19, please visit scdhec.gov/covid19 or call the DHEC Care Line at (855) 472-3432, available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. If you believe you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, you can be assessed virtually through MUSC by visiting musc.care.