The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control on Wednesday announced it was investigating 82 new novel coronavirus cases, bringing the statewide total to 424.
Nearly all South Carolina counties now have at least one confirmed case.
And the situation is projected to get worse: 2,657 cases are expected by April 2, and 8,053 are expected by May 2, DHEC said. The estimates are rough, though, and could change drastically.
"As the number of cases in the state significantly increases, the method for controlling the disease spread changes from in-depth investigations of every individual case to community strategies," Dr. Brannon Traxler, a DHEC physician consultant, said in a statement Wednesday. "Residents should not expect individual notification that they were exposed to a case, rather everyone should practice social distancing, stay home and stay away from other people if they’re sick, and wash their hands frequently with soap and water."
Seven COVID-19-related deaths, as of Tuesday night, have been reported in the Palmetto State. None of those deaths were in Aiken County.
DHEC's public health lab has run more than 2,300 tests to date.
More than 54,000 cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More than 1,200 have been confirmed in nearby Georgia.
Two Republicans in the South Carolina House have joined a growing call for Gov. Henry McMaster to issue a stay at home order in an effort to fight the coronavirus.
The letter from Reps. Neil Collins of Easley and Gary Clary of Clemson was sent before state health officials released their COVID-19 projections.
In his last public appearance Monday, McMaster said he had not issued a shelter-in-place order yet because “many South Carolinians are taking precautions that will render that unnecessary.” He did not rule out such an order in the future, however.
In a tweet Wednesday, McMaster asked any out-of-state visitors to South Carolina planning to stay in the state for two or more nights to isolate themselves for two weeks when they arrive.
Governors in neighboring North Carolina and Georgia also have not passed broad stay at home orders, but a number of local governments in those states have passed their own requirements.
South Carolina's largest city joined the chorus Tuesday as Charleston passed a stay-at-home ordinance. Mayor John Tecklenburg said he worried the city might be running out of time to head off the virus before it overwhelms hospitals.
Associated Press reports were used in this article.