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Grand Strand Medical Center in Myrtle Beach on March 16, 2020. Photo by Janet Morgan/janet.morgan@myhorrynews.com

The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control said Wednesday that the number of COVID19 patients rose to 60 cases across 14 counties, up from 47 on Tuesday, including one new case in Horry County. 

That means there are now five cases of COVID-19 in Horry County that have been confirmed by DHEC. The disease is expected to spread.

“We emphasize the importance of practicing disease prevention measures and following recommendations for social distancing to protect our community as a whole,” said DHEC Physician consultant Dr. Brannon Traxler. “Our top priorities remain preventing the spread of the disease and protecting the public health. This includes working to control spread and sharing measures that best protect our neighbors, friends and family.”

In the past week, S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster has shut down bars and restaurants to dine-in customers, public facilities have closed, schools and universities have moved online and residents have stockpiled supplies in order to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendation to practice social distancing, avoid public gatherings and restrict travel.

COVID-19 was first identified in Wuhan, China in December, but China didn’t confirm its existence until January. The virus reached America in late January. 

The disease mainly targets the respiratory system, and while young people are likely to be fine if they get it, older people with weaker immune systems are more susceptible.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has encouraged people to practice "social distancing," to restrict their travel and to avoid large gatherings in order to slow down the spread of the virus, which has an average incubation period of five days, but is some cases can last for several weeks. That means younger healthy people without severe symptoms can still transfer the virus to more susceptible populations who may require a hospital stay to survive. 

DHEC encourages people to wash their hands frequently, avoid touching their face and regularly clean high-use personal items.

MyHorryNews has a running list of Grand Strand events that have been canceled due to concerns over the novel coronavirus, and a page dedicated to all COVID-19 news.

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(1) comment

MwParker

I know there are privacy rights but, if I don't know who has the virus, how am I to figure out if I have had contact? We need to know if those with virus got it in another state because he/she traveled? at a local church service or funeral or wedding? at school or their work place? hopefully not at the grocery store, retail or restaurant?

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