Two individuals have tested positive for the coronavirus in Orangeburg County, according to the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control.
In addition, DHEC reported two more people have died as a result of the virus in the state. They were in Florence and Charleston counties.
The Orangeburg County cases are the first two reported in the county.
County Administrator Harold Young said the cases are unrelated to the county employees who were in close proximity with someone who tested positive for the coronavirus.
Those employees were instructed to self-isolate for 14 days and to monitor their health. The employees did not come into contact with the public in the course of their jobs.
“As administrator, I take the well-being of my employees very seriously,” Young said. “I have been in constant communication with the individuals mentioned earlier this week and these two listings have nothing to do with that situation.”
“These are two new cases,” Young said.
A case was confirmed in Calhoun County earlier this week.
DHEC says it can’t provide more information about the infected people because of privacy laws.
“It’s important to note that DHEC will always provide the information that’s necessary for residents to protect themselves,” DHEC said in a Friday press release. “However, DHEC is obligated and required to protect every individual’s personal health information, especially cases that occur in small or other close-knit communities where even basic pieces of information could identify an individual.”
Young said DHEC does not provide county officials with specific information on the individuals.
DHEC announced a total of 45 additional cases of coronavirus on Friday, including the two Orangeburg County cases.
This brings the total number statewide to 124 cases in 25 counties, as one case that was previously announced for Charleston County was determined to reside in another state.
The new cases include:
• Aiken County: 1
• Anderson County: 3
• Beaufort County: 1
• Berkeley County: 1
• Charleston County: 1
• Clarendon County: 1
• Darlington County: 1
• Florence County: 1
• Greenville County: 5
• Horry County: 2
• Kershaw County: 7
• Lexington County: 3
• Pickens County: 1
• Richland County: 14
• Sumter County: 1
One of the patients who died 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.
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.
• Appropriately disposing of tissues and other items that you've sneezed or coughed into.
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