THE LATEST: South Carolina’s response to the coronavirus pandemic

South Carolina News

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) – The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control is reporting nine deaths from the coronavirus in the Palmetto State and more than 450 cases.

Governor Henry McMaster held back tears during a press conference Thursday afternoon while talking about those who died, including the son of former South Carolina Governor John West.

“We hope that we see fewer and fewer of those cases. But our hearts go out to all the people and the families that we’ve lost, and I can promise you that those of us here will do all that we can to lose no more,” Gov. McMaster said.

In the Lowcountry, there are 60 cases in Charleston County, 8 cases in Berkeley County, 4 in Dorchester County, 3 in Georgetown County, 1 in Colleton County and 1 in Williamsburg County.

Gov. McMaster said at this point, he does not plan to issue a “stay at home” order, unlike we’ve seen in the City of Charleston and Columbia.

State health officials say they are now moving to mitigate the disease. They say a shortage of chemicals to perform tests for the virus is impacting state and private labs.

“Because of potential shortages, we do not recommend that everybody who is ill get a test to see if they have COVID-19 infection,” said State epidemiologist Dr. Linda Bell. “If disease activity increases significantly, we will advise people to stay home, get better and seek medical attention only if symptoms are worsening.”

DHEC now predicts more than 2,600 cases by April 2nd and 8,000 by May 2nd.

State health officials also say they are no longer performing close contact investigations for new cases.

We will provide an update on new numbers late Friday afternoon on our website

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