Two CC administrative employees test COVID positive; other pandemic updates

By DEUCE NIVEN

tribdeuce@tabor-loris.com

     Seven employees of Columbus County’s Administrative Office building are working from home after two tested positive for COVID-19 this week.

     Elsewhere, a clearer look at county-level COVID-19 data is provided in a new online tool unveiled by South Carolina’s Department of Health and Environmental Control Tuesday, as Horry County records three newly confirmed coronavirus deaths and 52 newly confirmed.

     Eleven new cases were reported for Columbus County Tuesday.

     This post will cover these topics and may be updated:

  • Columbus County office workers test COVID-19 positive
  • DHEC unveils County-Level COVID window, some tweaks to come
  • Three new coronavirus deaths in Horry, 52 more cases
  • State reports another 11 case confirmations in Columbus

Columbus County office workers test COVID-19 positive

     COVID-19 has become personal for Columbus County government, with two employees who work in the county administration building testing positive for the coronavirus this week, County Manager Mike Stephens said Tuesday.

     Seven employees, including the two who have tested positive, have been sent home, likely for 14 days, Stephens said. Their jobs will allow them to perform at least some of their duties, by computer, from home.

     “One employee had been exposed to a family member who tested positive, and decided to get tested during the weekend just in case,” Stephens said. “That employee was not showing any symptoms, but tested positive, and did not come into work Monday.”

     A second employee was tested after exhibiting some COVID symptoms, including fever, and received positive results on Tuesday, Stephens said. Neither employee has required hospital care, Stephens said.

     County offices have been largely closed to the public for months, with some exceptions for essential business as the pandemic has taken a heavy toll on the county.

     Columbus has recorded 48 deaths with 918 residents testing positive for COVID-19 since the pandemic began, NC Department of Health and Human Services data showed Tuesday.

DHEC unveils County-Level COVID window, some tweaks to come

     DHEC’s new County-Level COVID-19 Online Resource, an online dashboard with county level information, combines data that is separated on other DHEC pages, and may be confusing.

     “We’re working to separate the probable and confirmed cases and deaths on the county dashboard,” a DHEC spokesman said in response to an inquiry Tuesday. “I’m sure there will be several small tweaks we’ll make to it in order to make the data more easy to understand.”

     Still, the new tool “provided detailed county-level data that helps provide a localized look at the impacts of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 in South Carolina,” a DHEC news release said.

     DHEC technical experts created the tool very quickly.

     “In what could traditionally take a year or more to develop, our public health and data specialists have built in months an in-depth and interactive online resource for public use that gives a breakdown of demographics, testing, hospitalizations and more for all 46 counties,” DHEC Public Health Director Dr. Joan Duwve said. “DHEC has been tracking county-specific data since the first cases of COVID-19 were detected in the state, but the agency’s efforts to consolidate this vast, evolving information into an online resource that will be updated daily is truly amazing, and our state is fortunate to have such an adept team of experts working behind the scenes.”

     Find the new page, South Carolina County-Level Data for COVID-19, here.

Three new coronavirus deaths in Horry, 52 more cases

     Three newly confirmed COVID-19 related deaths in Horry County, 52 new cases, were indicated in Tuesday’s updated DHEC data.

     Two of the deaths involved middle-aged people, the third was described as elderly. Another “probable” COVID related death involved a person of “unknown age,” the DHEC data showed.

     Three of the newly confirmed cases appeared to be from the Loris Zip Code, the pandemic total there now 511, Green Sea holding at 38.

Horry’s pandemic total of confirmed cases and deaths is 8,645 cases, 154 deaths.

     Statewide South Carolina reported 928 new COVID cases and 45 new deaths Tuesday, the pandemic totals now 101,360 and 2,012 respectively, as the state’s COVID death toll topped 2,000.

     There were 1,330 COVID patients being treated in South Carolina hospitals Tuesday, that number down by 23 from Sunday.

 State reports another 11 case confirmations in Columbus

     Eleven more Columbus County residents have been confirmed as infected with COVID-19, Tuesday’s daily data update from North Carolina’s Department of Health and Human Services showed.

     Columbus County Health Department currently provides coronavirus data updates each Monday and Thursday.

     No new deaths were indicated by the DHHS data.

     Columbus County’s pandemic total of COVID-19 cases rose to 918, the new data showed, total deaths held at 48.

     Three of the new cases were indicated in the Tabor City Zip Code, six in Chadbourn, three in Whiteville. Pandemic total cases/deaths for those Zip Codes, stand at: Tabor City, 221/13; Chadbourn, 122/6; Whiteville, 259/14.

     North Carolina reported 1,051 new COVID infections and 32 new related deaths Tuesday, the pandemic total now 137,895 and 2,204 respectively.

     Hospitalizations related to COVID-19 were up by 11 Tuesday, the total now 1,122.

Updates

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