Bell issues statement as DHEC reports 987 new COVID-19 cases, 48 in Beaufort County


By Mike McCombs

On a day that saw South Carolina fall just short of 1,000 new confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus COVID-19, State Epidemiologist Dr. Linda Bell on Thursday issued a terse statement urging South Carolinians to continue to take public health precautions amid concerns over the recent rise in confirmed COVID-19 cases.

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) announced a state-record 987 new confirmed cases and nine new probable cases of the novel coronavirus COVID-19, and four additional confirmed deaths.

There were 48 new cases reported in Beaufort County.

“Every one of us has a role to play in stopping COVID-19. This virus does not spread on its own. Its spread around our state by infected people who carry it wherever they go – their work, the supermarket, the post office, a friend’s house. By not following public health precautions, many are putting all at risk,” Bell said in her statement.”

“It is essential that each of us, every day, wear a mask in public and stay physically distanced from others.”

“We understand that what we’re continuing to ask of everyone is not easy and that many are tired of hearing the same warnings and of taking the same daily precautions, but this virus does not take a day off. Every day that we don’t all do our part, we are extending the duration of illnesses, missed work, hospitalizations and deaths in our state.”

“There is no vaccine for COVID-19. There are only individual behaviors and actions we must all maintain that help stop its spread.”

“Healthy people may feel they are resistant to the virus, may feel that even if they contract it, they’ll have mild symptoms and feel better in a few days. This may be true for some – but it’s also true that we are seeing hospitalizations and deaths in those who were previously healthy and in almost every age group.”

“Historically, South Carolinans have willingly made sacrifices for the benefit of all. Stopping the spread of this disease will not be easy. However, I am confident in our willingness to take the current actions necessary of wearing face masks and social distancing in order to care for each other. Together we can meet this challenge.”

This brings the total number of confirmed cases to 21,533, probable cases to 15, confirmed deaths to 621, and zero probable deaths.

Three of the deaths occurred in elderly individuals from Florence, Kershaw and Lancaster counties, and one death occurred in an middle-aged individual from Lancaster County. There are currently no probable deaths. 

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