South Carolina confirms coronavirus-related death of nursing facility resident

The governor of South Carolina confirmed the state’s first coronavirus-related fatality on Monday, with the department of health describing the victim to be an elderly resident at a skilled nursing facility.

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

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According to a news release from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC), the man was a resident of Lexington Medical Center Extended Care Skilled Nursing Facility.

The DHEC said it is working with the facility all potential contacts and is providing guidance about infection control.

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“We know that many South Carolinians are concerned about what impact this virus may have on themselves, their loved ones and our state,” Dr. Brannon Traxler, DHEC physician consultant, said in the news release. “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.”

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South Carolina has had at least 28 confirmed cases of COVID-19, which has spread to 49 states. There have been at least 64 deaths in the U.S., and over 3,700 confirmed illnesses.