Covid 19 Artwork

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control on Thursday announced 261 new cases of COVID-19, including eight in Horry County, bringing the state's total up to 1,554 cases across all 46 counties.

Officials reported five new deaths Thursday, including one in Horry County, bringing state-wide deaths up to 31. The death in Horry County occurred at Conway Medical Center where the patient was hospitalized and in isolation, according to a statement from the hospital.

Horry County now has 50 cases, and four deaths.

There are now documented cases of COVID-19 in every county across our state,” said DHEC physician Dr. Brannon Traxler. “The level in which it continues to spread will hinge on all of our actions. Please do your part and stay home and limit your close contact with others."

DHEC officials said Tuesday that they were no longer reporting cases by zip code because they feared people wouldn't protect themselves and follow DHEC guidance if they knew their neighborhood had no confirmed cases. However, DHEC is still reporting zip codes with any cases; just not the exact number and not which municipal boundaries the cases are in. The zip-code information can be found by clicking here.

COVID-19, the disease caused by the new strain of coronavirus, has changed the landscape of South Carolina’s society.   

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster on Monday closed public boat ramps and access to public beaches. on Tuesday he order the closure of those non-essential businesses that serve as likely breeding grounds for the virus. He's ordered all bars and restaurants closed to dine-in customers, although take-out is permitted.

Groups of more than three people can be dispersed by law enforcement. Hospitals no longer allow visitors. Funerals are no longer the large public gatherings they once were.

Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle Beach Surfside Beach and Horry County have all banned short-term rentals through April, and McMaster is mandating all new visitors to South Carolina from COVID-19 hotspots quarantine themselves for 14 days upon arrival.

Non-essential state employees are working from home, and schools and universities all over the state have moved to an online format. The state’s income tax deadline has been extended to July 15. 

Bartenders, servers and other hourly workers have been hit hard. Filings for unemployment have skyrocketed, and applications for unemployment benefits increased 1,600 percent, statewide, the week the governor closed the bars and restaurants.

Three weeks weeks ago, Horry County had 112 people file for unemployment. The week the governor shut down the bars and restaurants, the county led the state in unemployment applications with more than 5,200 people filing for benefits. Horry County again led the state last week as 9,682 people filed for benefits. Statewide, nearly 65,000 filed for benefits last week.

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 the virus can still hospitalize young people, older people with weaker immune systems are more susceptible and have a higher mortality rate.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says symptoms can appear between 2 and 14 days after exposure, and some people are a-symptomatic. That means younger healthy people without severe symptoms can still transfer the virus to more susceptible populations who might require a hospital stay to survive.

DHEC officials said people who show symptoms can still spread the disease even before symptoms are noticeable.

The CDC encourages people to restrict their travel, practice social distancing, frequently wash their hands with warm water and soap, avoid touching their face and regularly clean high-use personal items, in order to slow the spread of the virus.

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(1) comment

Dhorn

Wow only 31 statewides death and the governor has shut the whole state down. OMG more people die in traffic accidents every day than this and he doesn't shut down the highways! I'm wondering what is really going on. The death numbers even nationally don't warrant all the shutdowns going on. 10 times more people die from the flu in the same time span. All I can say is get your guns ready.

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