The first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in Barnwell County on Monday, one of 151 new coronavirus cases that have been confirmed throughout the state.
Two more people have died from the virus in South Carolina, according to a S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control news release. Both patients – from Anderson County and Beaufort County – were elderly and had underlying health conditions.
None of the new cases announced by DHEC were in Aiken County, which currently has nine confirmed cases of the virus.
A total of 925 people in South Carolina have been diagnosed with COVID-19 as of Monday, March 30, and 18 people have died. Overall, cases have been identified in 41 of South Carolina's 46 counties, including Aiken, Barnwell and Edgefield counties.
Over 2,000 COVID-19 cases have been diagnosed in Georgia, according to the Georgia Department of Health. Of those cases, 13 were in Richmond County.
“We’re all in this together,” said Dr. Brannon Traxler, an S.C. DHEC physician, in a press release. “Today’s announcement is a stark reminder of the serious threat that COVID-19 poses to our families, friends and communities.
"We encourage all South Carolinians to continue to listen to the guidance of our public health professionals and to, when possible, stay home and limit your close contact with others," he said.
Coronavirus testing increased significantly at DHEC's Public Health Laboratory over the past few days.
Dr. Linda Bell, state epidemiologist, said last week that a nationwide shortage of a reagent necessary in COVID-19 testing was preventing both public and private labs from completing testing.
Around 1,800 testing kits were backlogged at the Public Health Lab until more of the reagent was delivered on Friday, March 27, said Laura Renwick, of DHEC's media relations.
In an email, Renwick said the public lab was "testing through the night" over the weekend in an effort to remove the backlog.
The public lab has completed 4,660 COVID-19 tests, Renwick said, and has returned to its 24- to 48-hour test result window.
The reagent shortage previously caused testing to take up to three to four days.