Coronavirus updates in SC: 33 of 46 counties have positive cases
Note: The coronavirus outbreak is a rapidly developing event, and this story contains information that was only updated through March 22, 2020. Some of the information here may have changed because of the breaking nature of the pandemic; updates are reflected in more current stories. For our the latest on the coronavirus outbreak and its impact on South Carolina visit greenvillenews.com or independentmail.com.
Related Coverage:What you need to know about the Coronavirus in South Carolina
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DHEC investigating 22 new cases
The State Department of Health and Environmental Control announced Sunday it was investigating 22 new cases of the coronavirus, bringing the weekend total up to 68.
There are two new cases in Greenville County and no new cases in Anderson County as of Sunday afternoon.
There are now 195 reported cases in the state across 33 counties, the DHEC release said.
“We want people to be prepared for more cases to occur and to continue to listen to and follow recommendations from public health officials," Dr. Brannon Traxler of DHEC said.
Relentless Church hosts curbside grocery giveaway
Relentless Church hosted a curbside grocery giveaway Sunday at their location at 635 Haywood Road in Greenville.
The giveaway was to help those in the Upstate who may be experiencing food instability amid the coronavirus outbreak.
All groceries and bags were sanitized and bagged by people wearing gloves, according to a media release from the church.
American Legion assembles response team to help members
American Legion Post 3 has assembled a team to help its 700-plus members in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak, according to commander Kevin Smith.
All events and meetings are cancelled, but the legion will continue to assist and reach out to sick and homebound members throughout the pandemic of the respiratory virus.
Members seeking help can call 864-271-2000 or email email@example.com for information.
13 counties have no reported positive cases
As COVID-19 spreads throughout South Carolina, there are 13 counties that have yet to report a positive case of the virus, according to the State Department of Health and Environmental Control.
Of the 46 South Carolina counties, 33 have positive cases, according to DHEC's latest report, released on Sunday afternoon.
The number of cases in a county are subject to change as DHEC tests more potential patients.
All the counties that have zero reported cases are primarily rural.
DHEC announces it's investigating 46 new cases of coronavirus
The State Department of Health and Environmental Control announced they were investigating 46 new cases of the coronavirus Saturday, bringing the statewide total up to 173.
Five new cases were announced in Greenville County and four new cases in Anderson County. Pickens County had no new cases to report, according to the release.
“As the number of positive cases throughout the state is expected to increase, we’re continuing to focus our efforts on preventing spread of the disease with special attention to those who are most high-risk for contracting the virus,” said Dr. Michael Kacka, DHEC physician and medical consultant.
High-risk groups include people over the age of 60 and immunocompromised individuals.
McMaster extends income tax deadline, allows curbside beer and wine sales
Saturday afternoon, Governor Henry McMaster a number of requests and orders in an effort to curb the growing outbreak of the coronavirus in South Carolina.
McMaster ordered the Department of Revenue to extend the income tax deadline to July 15. All other state taxes are due June 1, according to a release.
He also issued an executive order allowing bars and restaurants to sell sealed containers of beer and wine to customers for curbside pick-and to-go orders only. The order does not apply to delivery orders or open containers, the release states.
As medical staff worldwide face shortages of personal protective gear, McMaster is asking construction contractors to donate protective gear to healthcare professionals and state employees. Habitat for Humanity employee Mary Louise Resch is handling the donations and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Governor is not considering shelter in place order at this time
Gov. Henry McMaster took to Twitter on Saturday afternoon to assure South Carolinians he was not considering a "shelter in place" order at this time.
In a release sent out a few hours after his tweet, McMAster said the state was "constantly reviewing" plans to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
"That includes 'shelter-in-place,' a drastic action that other states with larger population centers have taken. It is my hope that this will not be necessary here, and I believe it to be much less likely, as long as South Carolinians follow official instructions and take recommended precautions now.”
While not as restrictive as a lockdown or quarantine, a shelter in place order would mandate residents to stay in their homes, except for essential travel, like going to the bank, grocery store or doctor.
California, Illinois and New York are all under statewide shelter in place orders.
McMaster urged residents to instead take caution, discourage rumors and to heed the advice of state and local officials to combat the coronavirus.
"If we all work together, act responsibly, and take necessary precautions, lives can be saved now," the tweet says.
USC student has the coronavirus, school says
A University of South Carolina student who lived in an on-campus residence hall tested positive for the coronavirus, according to an email from university spokesperson Jess Stensland.
The student is enrolled at the Columbia campus.
The university was made aware of the student's condition Friday evening. The student and 17 others have been quarantined in their residence hall while the case is investigated. The students will be provided meals, academic help and health care by the university, Stensland's email says.
The students quarantined are among those who were granted special permission to remain on-campus during campus's closure and move to online instruction for the spring semester.
Others who may have come into contact with the student will be notified, Stensland says.
Total, the university is aware of 12 students and one faculty member who have tested positive for COVID-19, according to Stensland. Although, the messages states the university will not announce each case they become aware of.
The university has moved all classes online and suspended all events, including graduation, through the end of the semester.
7-month old in Kershaw County tests positive for COVID-19
A seven-month old baby in Kershaw County has the coronavirus, according to a Facebook post from the Kershaw County Sheriff's Department.
No further information on the patient was offered.
"The virus does not discriminate. Your age does not matter," the post, which has been shared 35 times in under an hour, reads.
Kershaw County has become a hotspot for the coronavirus in South Carolina, with nearly 30% of confirmed cases in the state, according the State Department of Health and Environmental Control.
A message shared by Elgin Police Chief Harold Brown on the social media site asks people to stay home and "help stop the spread."
Pickens County declares state of emergency
Pickens County officials on Friday declared a local state of emergency in response to potential spread of COVID-19 in the county. The first case of COVID-19 in Pickens County was reported earlier Friday.
The person who tested positive is in isolation, county officials said in a statement.
Declaring a state of emergency allows the county to form a task force connected to the county's Emergency Operations Center to help people considered "at-risk" for the illness. The county can also access funding reimbursements and emergency procurement as it responds to the pandemic.
Here's what to know this weekend
- DHEC received 55 pallets of medical supplies from the Strategic National Stockpile, according to a release. The shipment includes N-95 masks, gloves, surgical gowns and face shields and will be dispersed amongst all of South Carolina's 46 counties.
- Three people have died in South Carolina after testing positive for coronavirus. Two of the deaths were reported Friday evening — one from Charleston County and one from Florence County. Both were elderly and had underlying health conditions, DHEC said.
- BMW announced its plant in Spartanburg will temporarily shut down beginning April 3 to April 19. The shutdown will likely affect thousands of jobs at BMW and companies that supply parts to the automaker.
- Michelin North America also said early Friday evening it was beginning a two-week phased shutdown of some of its tire production facilities across the country.
- School children will not be required to take standardized tests this spring, President Donald Trump announced.
- There were 124 cases of COVID-19 in South Carolina as of Friday afternoon, which was 45 more cases than the day prior. Greenville County has 12 cases and Anderson County has six.