DHEC releases number of coronavirus cases in S.C. by zip code

By Laurel Mallory | March 27, 2020 at 2:53 PM EDT – Updated March 27 at 3:32 PM

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) – The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control released a list of the state’s COVID-19 cases by zip code.

The list was created after a request by the S.C. Association of Counties to prepare first responders, calling them the “boots on the ground” during the COVID-19 fight.

Zip code information is critical to help determine how emergency personnel respond to calls, Midway Fire Chief Doug Eggiman said.

DHEC posted the following note along with the data:

“It’s important to know that there are many more people in the community who have this virus and have never been tested. Also, DHEC isn’t notified when individuals are no longer infectious (i.e., they are well), and as a result, these numbers likely include people who have recovered and no longer pose a risk to others. Regardless of the number of positive cases in their community, everyone is encouraged to take the same daily precautions to prevent against the spread of COVID-19.”

As of Thursday, there were 456 reported cases of coronavirus throughout 39 counties in the state.

Anyone with concerns about their health, or who believes they are showing symptoms such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath, should call their health care provider. Avoid going to the doctor or an emergency room unless the situation is life-threatening.

People with general questions about coronavirus should call the DHEC Care Line at 855-472-3432. The line is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day. Callers are urged to be patient as call volumes are high.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said the coronavirus is spread mainly from person-to-person by those in close contact, or through coughing and sneezing by someone who’s infected.

Symptoms of coronavirus can show up between two and 14 days of exposure, health officials say. Symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. But some severe cases can lead to death.

Those who are at the highest risk of catching COVID-19 are the young, the elderly and those who are already being treated for chronic medical diseases.

Young people who contract the virus are not likely to have a serious case, research shows. However, the CDC said about 40% of people who needed to be hospitalized due to the coronavirus are between the ages of 20 and 54.

Doctors say there is not currently a treatment or vaccine for COVID-19, but over-the-counter medications, like cold and cough medicines, can help treat symptoms of the virus.

The mortality rate for people with the virus has been widely reported around 2 to 3%, but health experts note the actual percentage is not that high, as not all cases are diagnosed or reported.

The rate is higher than the flu, which kills on average about 0.1% of people who get it, based on a 10-year average of data from the CDC.

People without a doctor can take advantage of free online screening from Prisma Health and the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC).

MUSC has an online platform to aid with coronavirus diagnosis and care. Go to musc.care and access the COVID-19 platform. The service is free with code: COVID19.

Prisma Health also has a free virtual visit, which allows patients to video conference with a doctor instead of coming into a facility. The goal is to keep patients who don’t need to be treated at a hospital at home. Go to primsahealth.org/virtual-visit and use promo code COVID19 for a free virtual visit.

For more information on COVID-19, click or tap here to visit the CDC’s website.

Copyright 2020 WIS. All rights reserved.

Read More