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COVID deaths in Horry, Columbus; cases spike; a tale of two tests

Jenn and Frank Causey


     As new COVID-19 deaths were reported in both Columbus and Horry counties Tuesday, an uptick in those infected with the disease was noted.

     For Tabor-Loris Tribune reporter Jenn Causey, the pandemic has gotten very real, and very personal, very quickly. Her first-person account starts our COVID update today.

     This post will cover these topics and may be updated:

  • Awaiting the COVID result, again
  • Columbus records a coronavirus death, 14 new cases
  • Two News pandemic deaths in Horry, 228 more with the virus

Awaiting the COVID result, again (By Jenn Causey)

     My result was negative, the wait was difficult.

     That was supposed to be the end of this story, the one I began telling here last week, describing the COVID-19 test I was given in the McLeod Loris Center for Health & Fitness parking lot on June 18.

     Relief came via the U.S. Mail a week later, the state’s Department of Health and Environmental Control telling me in clinical terms that the coronavirus had spared me, at least for now.

     “Thank you for the opportunity to serve you,” it said. “This letter is to inform you that your recent COVID-19 test results was negative/non-detected.”

     An additional note prompted me to think the letter was best.

     “You may have received a phone call from our clinical team staffing the COVID-19 Call Center explaining these results and further instructions, to ensure that you are following up to receive the proper level of care,” it said.

     Each day waiting on test results felt like an eternity, not knowing the outcome while worrying about my future.

     As of Friday more than 124,000 people have died from the virus in the United States, while the nation is in turmoil struggling with wearing masks, practicing social distancing and not congregating in large numbers.

     Science, recommendations from doctors and the Centers for Disease Control seem, at times, to be ignored.

     COVID positive?: My relief did not last long. Sunday morning I rushed my husband, Frank Causey, to the McLeod Loris emergency department because he was experiencing high fever, headache, body chills and nausea.

     A nurse immediately recognized high blood pressure and low oxygen level, and Frank was quarantined him to the hospital chapel to wait for a vacant emergency department room.

     For four hours, they tested blood work, administered an EKG, tested for COVID-19 and x-rayed lungs, while monitoring vital signs.

     I wasn’t allowed to be with him inside hospital.

     Two bags of fluids were given, along with medication to deal with body aches. His blood pressure was so high a nurse was forced to check pressure laying down, standing up and sitting up, three separate times.

     Emergency Medicine Physician Dr. Eric Larson was clearly concerned.

     “Everything is pointing towards you being positive for COVID-19 virus,” Dr. Larson said.

     My husband was sent home with 10 page DHEC instructions. Now the wait for test results begins again. We were still waiting Tuesday.

     The future is always uncertain. In this country we are told to wear seatbelts, because science said you are more likely to survive car accident wearing one as opposed to not wearing one.

     Face masks are today’s seat belts. We can save lives by wearing them, and the responsibility falls upon us, the citizens.

     COVID-19 has hit home for me, although I am not showing symptoms nor do I have fever.

     Someone I cherish is showing symptoms, which proves this virus doesn’t care about age, race, gender or class in society.

     If you or someone in your family is experiencing symptoms of the coronavirus, please seek medical attention.

Two News pandemic deaths in Horry, 228 more with the virus

     Two additional Horry County residents have died of complications of COVID-19, bringing the pandemic total to 44, data from South Carolina’s Department of Health and Environmental Control showed Wednesday.

     DHEC identified one of those who died in Horry as elderly, the other as middle-aged.

     Another 228 county residents have tested positive for the coronavirus, DHEC data showed, the highest one-day total of the pandemic. That brings to 3,547 the number of Horry residents confirmed to have contracted COVID-19.

     Ten of the new cases came from the Loris Zip Code, the daily DHEC data showed, that pandemic total now 242. Green Sea Zip Code data showed infections there unchanged at 16.

     Statewide South Carolina has recorded 37,809 COVID confirmed cases since the pandemic began, an increase of 1,497 from Tuesday, with 759 people across the state who have died of the disease, 24 more than Tuesday.

     A total of 1,160 Palmetto State residents were reported hospitalized for coronavirus complications Wednesday, an increase of 139 from the day before.

Columbus records a coronavirus death, 14 new cases

     State data on Columbus County’s COVID-19 Wednesday showed a one-day increase of 14 individuals infected with the coronavirus, and at least one more resident claimed by the disease.

     That data, from North Carolina’s Department of Health and Human Services, showed the county with 535 infected residents, a total of 39 who have died of COVID complications.

     Zip Code data showed Tabor City and Hallsboro with two newly infected residents Wednesday, those totals now 120 and 41; while Whiteville showed three new cases, Lake Waccamaw five, and Delco with four.

     Statewide: North Carolina reported its highest one-day total of new cases to date on Wednesday, with 1,843 positive tests bringing the pandemic total to 66,513. Pandemic deaths now total 1,373, 30 more than Tuesday; with 901 COVID patients in the hospital, seven fewer than the day before.


     Look for continuing coverage on local impacts from the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak here and in the Tabor-Loris Tribune in print and online.