COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) said the number of presumed coronavirus cases has risen to six, up from two the previous day.
As of Sunday afternoon, four presumptive positive cases were identified after testing for COVID-19 was completed at DHEC’s Public Health Laboratory.
These are in addition to the two presumptive positive cases the agency announced on March 6. That brings the total number of presumptive positive cases to six.
“Presumptive positive” means samples from these individuals tested positive for COVID-19 at DHEC’s Public Health Laboratory, however, these results are required to be confirmed by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It takes 24-48 hours for the CDC to confirm samples after they’re received.
Two of these four new cases are direct contacts (meaning close face-to-face contact) with the Camden elderly woman who was announced as a presumptive positive on March 6. The woman is said to be in her 80s.
“We now have evidence of community spread that’s likely to be causing these initial cases in Camden in Kershaw County and the risk of spread to other communities is possible, as seen in other states across the country,” said Dr. Linda Bell, State Epidemiologist. “We are working with the CDC and state and local officials to limit community spread while continuing with our protocol for identifying travel-related cases in the state.”
In line with CDC guidance, the department does not recommend closing schools or canceling public events at this time. DHEC will monitor absentee rates in schools and businesses as well as reports of illness in the community to determine if or when closures may be recommended. DHEC also is providing updated recommendations to schools and day care facilities, colleges and universities, and organizers of large events. That updated information is publicly availablehere.
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