SC Coronavirus Cases Confirmed, First Death

SC Coronavirus Cases Confirmed, First Death

A Lexington man recently diagnosed with coronavirus has died, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control said Monday. He is the first person in South Carolina to die aft er testing positive for COVID-19.

“We regret to report that South Carolina has suffered its first death in an elderly person recently reported to have been diagnosed with COVID-19 who was a resident of Lexington Medical Center Extended Care Skilled Nursing Facility,” Dr. Brannon Traxler of DHEC said in a news release. “Our state health officials continue to work with national and local partners to respond to this ongoing public health matter.”

The man was from Lexington County, according to the release. DHEC is working with the facility to identify all contacts and is providing guidance about infection control measures to prevent spread.

“We are saddened by the news of the first death in South Carolina due to COVID-19. Our hearts and prayers are with the family and the community,” South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster said on Twitter. “South Carolinians must continue to support each other through prayer, through common sense, by taking precautions and by demonstrating courtesy and compassion.”

State epidemiologist Linda Bell said patients at the nursing home are being isolated if they had contact with the Lexington man.

“We know that many South Carolinians are concerned about what impact this virus may have on themselves, their loved ones, and our state,” said Traxler, who is a DHEC physician consultant. “This is a rapidly evolving public health event, and DHEC takes every new infectious disease seriously. This is an example of the importance of taking precautions to protect those at higher risk, like the elderly and people with serious underlying health conditions.”

The man had “no known exposure to another case” and no travel history to an area where the virus is present, state health officials said.

Bell said officials are working closely with the Lexington nursing home “to immediately investigate possible exposures in an effort to mitigate any potential spread at this facility.”

The nursing home has been “completely cooperative” working with the DHEC, and the facility is following the procedures recommended by the DHEC and the Centers for Disease Control to help “protect this higher-risk population,” Bell said.

Employees at the nursing home are also being looked at by DHEC, according to Bell.

“We evaluate the type of contact each health care provider had with the patient who was infected to see if they were wearing appropriate personal protective equipment,” Bell said. “We have identified those health care professionals, the facility is aware and they know what to do with asking them to monitor for symptoms if they have been in contact.”

As of Monday morning, 174,961 people worldwide have been diagnosed with coronavirus and 6,705 people have died, while 77,658 recovered, according to Johns Hopkins University. In the United States, 3,813 people have been diagnosed with the novel virus. In the U.S. 69 deaths have been reported, including 42 in Washington state, according to Johns Hopkins.

A spokesperson for Lexington Medical Center declined to comment on the death. But the hospital issued a statement about new protocols related to hospital entrances and visitation policies.

“For the health and safety of all Lexington Medical Center patients and staff, we strongly encourage everyone to avoid visiting a Lexington Medical Center facility unless they have a personal health care need,” according to the statement.

Patients and visitors will be screened by hospital staff before entering, and might have to leave based on their results. Additionally, patients will only be allowed one visitor at a time inside the hospital.

As of Monday morning, 174,961 people worldwide have been diagnosed with coronavirus and 6,705 people have died, while 77,658 recovered, according to Johns Hopkins University. In the United States, 3,813 people have been diagnosed with the novel virus. In the U.S. 69 deaths have been reported, including 42 in Washington state, according to Johns Hopkins.

A spokesperson for Lexington Medical Center declined to comment on the death. But the hospital issued a statement about new protocols related to hospital entrances and visitation policies.

“For the health and safety of all Lexington Medical Center patients and staff, we strongly encourage everyone to avoid visiting a Lexington Medical Center facility unless they have a personal health care need,” according to the statement.

Patients and visitors will be screened by hospital staff before entering, and might have to leave based on their results. Additionally, patients will only be allowed one visitor at a time inside the hospital.

All information in this article is credited to Noah Feit at thestate.com.