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South Carolina governor reacts to first coronavirus death in South Carolina

Gov. McMaster said he was saddened to learn of the death Monday morning.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster is reacting to the news of the first coronavirus death in South Carolina

South Carolina officials confirmed Monday morning a resident of Lexington Medical Center Extended Care Skilled Nursing Facility who'd earlier been reported as a confirmed case had passed away. 

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"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 Carolinians must continue to support each other through prayer, through common sense, by taking precautions and by demonstrating courtesy and compassion."

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DHEC is working with the facility to identify all contacts and is providing guidance about infection control measures to prevent spread. 

“We know that many South Carolinians are concerned about what impact this virus may have on themselves, their loved ones, and our state,” said Dr. Traxler

“We know that many South Carolinians are concerned about what impact this virus may have on themselves, their loved ones, and our state,” said Dr. Traxler. “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.”

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 frequently,
  • covering your cough,
  • staying home when you’re sick, and
  • appropriately disposing tissues and other items that you've sneezed or coughed into.

For general questions about COVID-19 residents should visit the DHEC website at scdhec.gov/COVID19 or the CDC website here.

For residents concerned about their own personal health or are showing symptoms such as fever, cough or shortness of breath, please call your personal doctor or healthcare provider. DHEC has launched its Care Line. If residents have general questions about COVID-19, the DHEC Care Line is here to help. Call 1-855-472-3432. Staff are answering calls from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Call volume has been high. Callers are urged to be patient if they receive a busy signal and try their call at a later time.