Sumter has 1st death related to COVID-19

Total statewide deaths at 7


Two more South Carolinians have died from complications related to the novel coronavirus, COVID-19.

As has been the case with the first five people to die in the state from the virus, both patients were elderly and had underlying health conditions. One person was from Florence County, and the other was from Horry County. This brings the state’s total number of deaths to seven.

The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control reported Tuesday night that one person among the first five who died was reported as living in Kershaw County, but further investigation by the agency determined the person  has a Sumter County residence. DHEC reports cases based on county of residence.

According to DHEC’s most updated information, the seven deaths have been in Sumter, Clarendon, Lexington, Charleston, Horry and two in Florence counties.

DHEC reported Tuesday the total number of cases to be at 342 after announcing 44 new cases.

Cases in the state are spread among 36 counties, including a total of 58 in Kershaw County to Sumter's north. Tuesday's update from the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control includes only four new cases in the county of about 65,500. While Kershaw is the state's 22nd most-populous county, it remains with the most confirmed cases behind Richland, Greenville, Charleston and Beaufort.

Sumter County's eight total cases is the 10th-highest number of cases in the state, and Sumter is the 15th most-populous county.

With social distancing and self-isolation now percolating through communities as public health and state officials continue to urge people to stay home, Jonathan Knoche, a DHEC physician, said state resources are available for those dealing with stress and anxiety.

"While we reiterate the importance of taking daily precautions to prevent spread, we want to make sure South Carolinians are also taking steps to address the feelings of stress and anxiety that arise in this type of prolonged situation," Knoche said.

For more information and articles about coping with the stress and anxiety that may be stemming from this pandemic, click here.

Anyone with concerns about their health should reach out to their health care provider or use the telehealth services provided by several health care systems. For a list of options, click here.