Doctors Urge Common Sense, Caution in Response to Coronavirus

Mar 9, 2020
File photo of a woman washing her hands
Arlington County, VA [CC BY-SA 2.0] via Flickr

As COVID-19 continues to spread around the world, doctors at the Medical University of South Carolina have spent much of the past few weeks reminding people to use common sense, and not to panic.

“If you think you are sick, the best thing to do is to stay home,” says Dr. Amanda Parks, an infectious disease specialist at MUSC. “For something like a respiratory virus, generally, what we’re going to do in the office or the ER is the same thing you’re going to do at home which is supportive care.”

Monday, State epidemiologist Dr. Linda Bell, DHEC Director Rick Toomey and Gov. McMaster give update on COVID 19 Cases in South Carolina.
Thelisha Eaddy/SC Public Radio

Updated, 3/12/2020

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) is investigating one new possible case of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus in Lancaster County. This brings the total number of presumptive positive cases to eight, along with two confirmed cases.

The new case is a woman from Lancaster County. DHEC said a contact investigation is underway, and at this time there is no known travel outside the state or known contact with another case.

According to the agency, the woman’s samples tested positive at DHEC’s Public Health Laboratory and she is currently hospitalized and isolated. DHEC is working with the healthcare facility and taking routine measures to prevent possible spread.

“Our top priorities remain preventing spread of the disease and protecting public health,” said Dr. Linda Bell, State Epidemiologist. “Our systems for protecting public health are working. We’re continuing to work with the CDC and our state and local partners, however, based on what’s occurring in other states and countries, we expect community spread to grow.”

As of Wednesday, DHEC tested a total of 51 individuals for COVID-19, which includes the eight presumptive positive cases and two confirmed cases.


7 Presumptive Positive COVID-19 Cases in S.C.- DHEC: Risk to Public Remains Low

Seven people in South Carolina have presumptively tested positive for coronavirus

Monday afternoon DHEC announced an older man in Camden, in Kershaw County, is the latest case. The man is currently in self-isolation at his home. State epidemiologist Dr. Linda Bell said he had been in direct contact with a person who previously tested positive for the virus. This now brings the total cases in Kershaw County to five.

Bipartisan group of State Senators discuss final passage of the School Improvement Bill at the Statehouse on March 5, 2020.
Russ McKinney/SC Public Radio

After two years of work and eight weeks of gridlock on the floor of the State Senate … Senators this week were finally able to pass the sweeping School Improvement Bill. Education Committee Chairman Gregg Hembree called it a long, and arduous journey. The bill aims to improve teacher working conditions, streamline required student testing, and give more authority to the state to deal with local school districts that are failing. The bill now goes to the House which passed a similar bill last year. The two versions will have to be reconciled this spring.

Now that the CDC has identified the first cases of non-travel-related COVID-19 coronavirus in the US, federal and state agencies have begun to step up their response plans to handle what are likely more cases to come. Here in South Carolina, state agencies are also being diligent in their preparations. But, in the meantime, what measures should we be taking on an individual level for both prevention and the possibility of a self-quarantine? I checked in with Dr.

File photo of the S.C. Senate in session
Russ McKinney/SC Public Radio

The S.C. State Senate this week voted to limit debate on the massive public school improvement bill. Senators have been considering the bill for seven weeks. Senate leaders hope to move to a final vote on the bill next week.

NPR Special Live Coverage: 2020 SC Democratic Primary

Feb 27, 2020
Caroline Amenabar/NPR

The Democratic presidential primary candidates are competing in South Carolina on Saturday, hoping to win over voters in the fourth contest of 2020. Follow NPR's live coverage of the primary, including results and analysis here...


World Health Organization

As of Tuesday, the World Health Organization(WHO) identified 59 cases of COVID-19 in the United States. None are in South Carolina; but the case that has U.S. health officials wary is one from California. It was reported earlier this week and is the first to show up on American soil without being directly traceable to the person affected having any contact with a country or person known to already have it.

As of Thursday, health officials had no idea how the person contracted the illness

The spread of this particular strain of coronavirus has taken whole nations off-guard, and some health officials here in the United States as well. Dr. Melissa Nolan, an epidemiologist at the University of South Carolina, says she did not think COVID-19 would have turned into a global pandemic. But she remains confident that if South Carolina eventually reports cases of the illness (so far, there have been none reported here), the state will be able to handle it.

South Carolina State Climatology Office

Lately, South Carolinians have been talking about the weather. Not as a mere pleasantry, but because we seem to be experiencing several days in a row of rain. Even your Facebook friends have probably either posted or commented on some sort of meme involving epic deluges and flooding. But, all kidding aside, the flooding has been real. Several rivers throughout the state have reached flooding stages, causing road closures and even some parks that border rivers to restrict certain areas of access due to local flooding.

Official Campaign photos

Amid typical debate topics: the economy, education, housing, rural healthcare and national security, Tuesday’s breaking news of health officials warning Americans to plan for the spread of the Coronavirus in the U.S. gave seven of the eight remaining Democratic candidates the opportunity to show how they would lead during the growing international crisis and also the chance to attack what many of them called the President’s lack of leadership on the issue.

The U.S. Capitol is a grand achievement of classical architecture. A potential presidential order could make all federal building projects above a certain price be crafted in this same style. That doesn't sit well with several architects.
Heide Kaden/Unsplash

A potential Trump administration plan dubbed “Making Federal Buildings Beautiful Again” would demand that all federal building projects costing above $50 million be designed in the neoclassical style. The aim is to unify the architectural style of major federal buildings.

But the initiative has drawn the ire of architects around the country.

Scott Morgan / South Carolina Public Radio

Somewhere at the middle-end of the 19th century, a railroad tunnel under construction in Walhalla partially collapsed and left behind a cave that tricolor bats really took to. There used to be hundreds of the small, furry bats hibernating through the winters by clinging to the rock. By February 10 of this year, there were seven.

Biden's Soul of the Nation bus tour swings through Palmetto State, days before its first-in-the-south contest
Thelisha Eaddy/ SC Public Radio

About two weeks ago, when Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden realized his showing in the New Hampshire Primary was going to be low, the former Vice President made a trip to South Carolina for a launch party. Surrounded by a diverse crowd of energetic supporters, Biden said despite poor numbers in Iowa, and similar expectations in New Hampshire, their fight was just beginning.

“We haven’t heard from the most committed constituents of the Democratic party; the African-American community.”

Executives of NextEra Energy appearing before S.C. Senate Finance  Committee on Feb. 19, 2020
Russ McKinney/SC Public Radio

Next year’s state spending plan is now advancing through the legislature.  This week House budget writers approved a $10 Billion budget package that includes major spending increases in education, roads, public safety, and corrections.

The budget that’s now on the way to the full House of Representatives incorporates almost all of Governor McMaster’s proposals including for the second year in a row significant teacher pay raises.

The FBI Watergate Panel, featuring (left to right) Dr. Melissa Graves, former special agents John Mindermann, John Clynick, Paul Magallanes, Daniel Mahan and Angelo Lano at the Citadel
Cameron Pollack/ The Citadel

They are not household names like the reporters who broke the Watergate story for the Washington Post, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein. 

But five guys, former special agents who helped the FBI break the case, have quite a story to tell.

They shared it as they reunited for the first time in nearly 50 years at the 2020 Intelligence and Ethics Conference at the Citadel in Charleston in February.

"It was approximately 8 am Saturday, June 17th, 1972," recalled lead investigator Angelo Lano.

Images of soldiers during the five-week long battle of Iwo Jima are now publically accessible
USC Moving Image Research Collections

Carrying the wounded to a make-shift hospital, taking communion, and traveling by sea are just some of the images revealed in never-before-seen films taken during the battle of Iwo Jima.

The start of this World War II battle began 75 years ago this week and lasted just over a month. After 36 days of fighting, more than 6,000 Americans were killed as well as almost all of the 21,000 Japanese who defended the island.