COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) has reported the state’s second and third deaths related to COVID-19 novel coronavirus, including one person from Florence County.
This brings the state’s total number of deaths to three.
“Sadly, our state has suffered the loss of two of our own,” said Dr. Linda Bell, state epidemiologist. “In the case of both deaths, the patients had recently been reported to have been diagnosed with COVID-19. On behalf of all South Carolinians, we want to express our deepest sympathy for the families and loved ones of these two individuals.”
One patient was an elderly person with an underlying health condition from Florence County.
The other patient was an elderly person with an underlying health condition from Charleston County and was a resident of Harmony Assisted Living Facility. DHEC is working with the facility to identify all contacts and is providing guidance about infection control measures to prevent spread.
“It is never easy to have to report on the deaths of fellow members of our community,” Bell said. “We must continue to do all that we can to protect ourselves and those around us from illness by taking precautions to limit the spread of germs. This is especially important for those at higher risk, like the elderly and people with serious underlying health conditions.”
Earlier Friday, the Pee Dee recorded its first two cases of COVID-19 – the one case in Florence and one Darlington Counties, according to DHEC.
Kershaw County continued to have the most reported cases at 36 cases followed by Richland County with 22 and Greenville County with a dozen.
Horry County has eight reported cases.
No other Pee Dee county has a reported case as of 5 p.m. Friday.
Statewide there are 125 reported COVID-19 cases, according to DHEC.
Out of tests conducted in public health laboratories 1,255 tests have come back negative.
DHEC emphasizes the importance of practicing disease prevention measures and following recommendations for social distancing to protect the health and safety of all South Carolinians. This includes:
• Washing your hands often.
• Covering your cough.
• Staying home when you’re sick, and
• Appropriately disposing tissues and other items that you've sneezed or coughed into.
DHEC will alert the public on all COVID-19-related deaths. For the latest information about DHEC’s COVID-19 response efforts, please visit scdhec.gov/COVID-19.