Gov. McMaster addresses possible coronavirus cases in SC

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WSPA) – South Carolina now has two presumptive cases of the coronavirus. The governor urged people to stay calm at a Saturday morning press conference.

Now, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control is trying to figure out how one patient who hasn’t traveled outside the state contracted the disease.

“There is no reason for alarm, we ask people to go about their daily lives,” South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster said.

“One patient is a woman from Charleston County who is currently self-isolated at home and recently returned from a trip from France and Italy. She has a mild illness and does not require medical treatment. The other patient is a woman from Kershaw County who is currently hospitalized and in isolation,” said South Carolina Epidemiologist, Dr. Linda Bell.

Health officials have confirmed with 7 News, the Charleston woman came through the airport there on her way home. They’re trying to figure out now if anyone came in contact with her.

As for the Kershaw County case, there are still looming questions on how she possibly contracted the virus to begin with.

“The Kershaw County woman has no known exposure at this time. The possible source of her infection is still being investigated,” Dr. Bell said.

Officials say this case involves an elderly woman.

“She was admitted to a hospital for evaluation of an unknown illness, so the course of her illness is a little bit more prolonged. There were other diagnostic tests performed to find out what was the cause of her illness. When those tests were negative, they began considering the possibility of COVID-19,” Dr. Bell said.

And even though community spread isn’t out of the question, health officials said there is no need to take additional precautions right now.

School leaders over at the Medical University of South Carolina have a plan, using ‘telemedicine’ to speed up a safe diagnosis.

“With our platform, you can receive care from a group of trusted MUSC doctors, nurse practitioners and PA’s from your home,” said Director of MUSC’s Virtual Care platform, Dr. Edward O’Bryan, M.D.

It will be available 24 hours a day to anyone with questions or symptoms like an online urgent care center.

And while the future is unknown when it comes to the spread of this virus, health officials told us they are prepared.

Governor McMaster said it’s far too early to talk about issuing a state of emergency. He has however been talking with Vice President Mike Pence about these possible cases.

He told us the vice president is willing to help with resources the state needs.

Samples from both possible cases in South Carolina have been sent to the CDC. Processing on that can take anywhere between 24 and 48 hours.

For information on telemedicine, you can visit the website here.

The code is COVID19.

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

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