Health officials investigating two possible cases of coronavirus in SC

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Governor Henry McMaster, along with state public health officials, provided an update on the two possible virus cases Saturday morning.

McMaster also provided this statement, Friday night:

โ€œHealthcare authorities in South Carolina have been preparing for this eventuality and there is no reason for public alarm. DHEC is working with the CDC on confirmation for these cases. South Carolinians should continue to follow recommendations and information provided by official sources.โ€


(WSPA) – The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control announced it is investigating two possible cases of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus.

Health officials say the presumptive positive cases are not linked.

One patient is a woman in Charleston Co. who is isolated at home with a mild illness, health officials said in a teleconference Friday. They say the woman had visited France and Italy, but officials are still investigating which airport she came through.

Medical University of South Carolina confirmed that the woman is one of their workers, saying she took proper precautions.

The other patient is an elderly adult female from Kershaw County who has been hospitalized and is in isolation, DHEC said.

The individuals under investigation are advised to avoid contact with the public for 14 days and are monitored by the health department.

SC Health officials held a news conference on Friday regarding the investigations:

โ€œWhile the risk to the public remains low, there is no evidence of ongoing transmission in the community at this time and our primary goals remain prevention and control,โ€ said Dr. Linda Bell, State Epidemiologist.

The samples submitted tested positive at DHECโ€™s Public Health Laboratory.

These results are required to be confirmed by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention laboratory and are in the process of being submitted for confirmatory testing.

DHEC will update the public as soon as the test results from the CDC are available, which typically takes 24 to 48 hours.

At this time, DHEC has tested a total of 10 individuals for COVID-19, including the two presumptive positives today. The remaining tests are negative. DHEC has the ability to test 80 to 100 patients per day.

Health officials say no additional precautions are recommended for the public at this time, beyond the simple daily precautions that everyone should always take steps to stop the spread of illness, including getting the flu vaccine, washing your hands, covering your cough, and appropriately disposing tissues and other items contaminated with respiratory droplets.”

For general questions about COVID-19 residents should visit the DHEC website at scdhec.gov/COVID19 or the CDC website here.

For residents concerned about their own personal health or are showing symptoms such as fever, cough or shortness of breath, please call your personal doctor or healthcare provider. DHEC has launched its Care Line. If residents have general questions about COVID-19, the DHEC Care Line is here to help. Call 1-855-472-3432. Staff are answering calls from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Call volume has been high. Callers are urged to be patient if they receive a busy signal and try their call at a later time.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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