Midlands hospital prepares for possible coronavirus outbreak

COLUMBIA,SC (WOLO)- Midlands hospitals are preparing for an coronavirus outbreak after the recent spread across the United States.

In South Carolina five people have been tested in for COVID-19, and 13 people are being monitored according to DHEC officials. Right now there are no confirmed cases.

The rapidly emerging outbreak of the coronavirus has some south carolinians on edge.

“I’m a little bit worried,” Jeff hopkins, a Columbia resident said. “I think it’s a little bit more spread then the numbers are showing right now.”

While others are not phased.

“I’m not doing anything because I think if I do that’s going to play on the fear,” resident Holly hayes said.

“No you just need to be diligent and observant of germs,” resident Laurey carpenter said.

That’s exactly what doctors want you to do.

“If you’re sick, if you have any kind of cough or runny nose,” Dr. Anna-Kathryn Burch at Prisma Health said. “You need to be staying home.”

Burch says Prisma Health is preparing for a spread.

“We’ve been working diligently for the last several months to put a plan in place in case we do get sustain spread in South Carolina and specifically in the Columbia area,” Burch said.

When taking preventive measures, officials say those mask could be more harmful than helpful.

“We’re not anywhere near that stage at all,” Burch said. “And actually wearing a mask can be more harmful to the average person that is not sick.”

Practicing good hygiene is a good way to avoid catching the coronavirus.

“Everybody should take normal flu precautions,” Burch said. “Those are simple things like washing your hands. Making sure you wash your hands appropriately. You should wash them for at least 20 seconds. You want to make sure that you dry your hands and use the towel you used to dry your hands to turn the faucet off.”

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