COVID-19 takes toll on SC nursing homes, assisted living facilities

SC DHEC will begin to release cases, deaths recorded at area nursing homes, assisted living facilities


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Columbia,SC ( WOLO)— Since cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) began spread here in South Carolina, the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) has made weekly press briefings, and daily updates on their website to keep the public aware of the number of cases, and deaths throughout the state.

Beginning next week, DHEC plans to give specifics on the number deaths of patients living in nursing homes, assisted living facilities and similar housing where people reside in close quarters. Including the amount of staff members that care for these paients that have been infected with COVID-19.

According to officials, this additional information will give members of the community a better idea of how COVID-19 is impacting some of the most vulnerable among us. They will also begin releasing the facilities that have an associated case of COVID-19, as well as the number of positive cases for either residents or staff members.

Health officials say the spread of a respiratory illnesses like COVID-19 is seen quite frequently in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and similar congregate facilities because of the shared living and dining areas as well as reduced space for adequate social distancing.

If an effort to keep these residents as  safe as possible, DHEC has been working with the health care facilities in order to provide guidance and help implement recommendations 

Dr. Joan Duwve,  the DHEC Public Health Director relased a statement saying,

“This virus is taking its toll on those most vulnerable to it, including our friends and family who reside in nursing homes and assisted care facilities,” said Dr. Joan Duwve, DHEC Public Health Director. “Around the country, nursing homes and similar facilities have been challenged to implement unprecedented safety precautions while also providing important care to their residents.”

On March 13, Gov. Henry McMaster issued an Executive Order that stopped public visitation to these types of facilities in order to help protect the vulnerable population of residents, the staff who care for them, and outside visitors. This order is still in effect today.

“We thank all of our health care professionals including our nursing, assisted living and extended care facility workers for all the selfless work they’re doing to help protect against further spread of this disease in those who are most susceptible to it,” Duwve said.

For more updated COVID-19 information visit

Categories: Local News, State