Daily COVID-19 updates and how Charlestonians can be prepared


Photo by 🇨🇭 Claudio Schwarz | @purzlbaum on Unsplash

The latest numbers, guidelines, and essential info

LATEST UPDATES

(Updated 4:49 p.m., May 6)

Positive tests in S.C.: 6,841 (+93)
Positive tests in Charleston County (total): 464
Negative tests in S.C.: 61,925
Deaths in S.C. from COVID-19: 296 (+13)

Source: Department of Health and Environmental Control, Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation

CURRENT GUIDELINES

As always, check the Centers for Disease Control for the latest information. Here are the current best practices:

  • Practice social distancing. One of the most effective ways of slowing down the transmission of COVID-19, keep at least six feet from other people and avoiding groups and crowds. The CDC recommends keeping groups to ten or fewer.
  • Asymptomatic spread. Recent studies suggest that the virus can be spread by people who are asymptomatic, so take care and heed the CDC guidelines even if you are feeling healthy.
  • Face masks. Wear a cloth face mask or other covering when going out into public. They especially recommend wearing one where social distancing is difficult, for example, a grocery store. The masks help to keep you from unintentionally spreading the virus and endangering others. Please note, masks meant for healthcare providers should be saved for medical uses. The CDC's face mask guide explains when to wear a mask, how to make one yourself, and how to care for them.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes. As a rule you should cover your coughs and sneezes, but it's crucial if you are not wearing a face mask or covering.
  • Clean daily. Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces daily, including: tables, chairs, doorknobs, light switches, remotes, handles, desks, toilets, and sinks. Use disposable gloves, especially if someone is sick.
  • Wash your hands. Use soap and warm water and wash for at least 20 seconds. Hand sanitizer is good, but it needs to contain at least 60 percent alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your face. Don't touch your face with unwashed hands, but especially be cognizant of the area around your eyes, nose, and mouth.

Source: Centers for Disease Control. Last updated Thursday, April 16.

ESSENTIAL INFO AND RESOURCES

Here are resources we've found helpful for the ever-changing COVID-19 situation.

  • NEW: Additional Symptoms. The Centers for Disease Control has added six new symptoms of the coronavirus: chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell. The CDC had previously outlined three symptoms – fever, cough, and shortness of breath – bringing the total to nine.
  • NEW: Financial Resources. The U.S. Department of Labor has put together their own bulleted list with links to financial information and resources for those who have been laid off, furloughed, or otherwise economically impacted by the pandemic.
  • NEW: Face mask guide. When and how to wear medical masks to prevent contraction or the spread of coronavirus, put together by WHO.
  • COVID-19 overview. The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control put together an overview of the virus and its impact on South Carolina, including information about how the virus spreads and is severity, as well as other helpful links.
  • CDC Background. Information from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) about how the coronavirus is treated and how the spread of the disease is prevented.
  • Latest Updates. SCDHEC's page for coronavirus testing results and case monitoring for possible cases in South Carolina.
  • Advice from WHO. The World Health Organization put together a page of advice for making it through the outbreak, complete with powerpoint presentations and downloadable PDFs.
  • Tired of singing Happy Birthday? You can sing happy birthday twice, or the chorus of: Dolly Parton's Jolene (24 seconds), Lizzo's Truth Hurts (24 seconds, including the Bom bom bi dom bi dum bum bay.)

    Honorable mentions go to the choruses of Rick Astley's Never Gonna Give You Up (17 seconds) and Dexy's Midnight Runners' Come on Eileen (17 seconds, but you can also say COVID-19 to the tune, so you know).

  • Cleaning recommendations and guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting your environment, including your home. Especially important if someone confirmed to have had the virus has been in the space.
  • Prevention. A quick guide from the CDC for preparing for an outbreak of coronavirus in your community.
  • Exposed? How to prevent the spread of coronavirus if you are in contact with someone who is confirmed to have contracted the virus.
  • Travel. With most of the country under stay at home orders, there's not much traveling going on. However, if you must, here is a travel guide for those planning trips outside of the country or back into their home country while the virus is actively spreading. This guide is regularly updated, and includes information regarding travel bans and restrictions in place for certain regions.

IF YOU'RE SICK

If you think you may have coronavirus; have lost your sense of smell; or have fever, cough, and shortness of breath; you have options to get medical care without exposing others.

  • MUSC's virtual care system added coronavirus to its list of care options in March.
  • Roper St. Francis is offering free virtual visits to anyone experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. Visit rsfh.com/virtualcare between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. and use code COVID19. Any visits outside of the 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. hours will be charged $59.
  • Finally, if you have coronavirus, here is a guide on how to prevent yourself from spreading the disease and keep those around you healthy and virus-free.

HOW WE GOT HERE

  • The World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a global pandemic on March 11, according to media reports, citing "alarming levels of spread and severity" and "alarming levels of inaction.
  • Gov. Henry McMaster ordered public schools in South Carolina closed on March 15, and put a home or work order in place that took effect Thursday, April 9.

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