SC Reports First Coronavirus Death
Updated 4:30 p.m.
South Carolina health officials say one person has died from COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. It’s the first death reported in the Carolinas as cases mount.
According to the state Department of Health and Environmental Control, the man who died was an elderly resident of Lexington Medical Center Extended Care Skilled Nursing Facility near Columbia. State health officials are trying to identify anyone who may have come into contact with the man at the facility and working with staff to prevent spread.
We know that many South Carolinians are concerned about what impact this virus may have on themselves, their loved ones, and our state,” Dr. Branon Traxler, the state's physician consultant, said Monday in a news release. “This is a rapidly evolving public health event, and DHEC takes every new infectious disease seriously. This is an example of the importance of taking precautions to protect those at higher risk, like the elderly and people with serious underlying health conditions.”
South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster urged residents to take precautions.
“South Carolinians must continue to support each other through prayer, through common sense, by taking precautions and by demonstrating courtesy and compassion,” McMaster tweeted after the announcement of the death.
We are saddened by the news of the first death in South Carolina due to COVID-19. Our hearts and prayers are with the family and the community. (1/2)— Gov. Henry McMaster (@henrymcmaster) March 16, 2020
As of Monday evening, the state was reporting 33 suspected cases of the disease. North Carolina was reporting 33 cases as of Monday morning. Seven of them have been in Mecklenburg County, according to local health officials.
Public schools in both states have been shut down amid efforts to curb the virus' spread.
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