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DHEC releases data on S.C. nursing home cases of COVID-19

Staff Report //April 22, 2020//

DHEC releases data on S.C. nursing home cases of COVID-19

Staff Report //April 22, 2020//

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A rehabilitation center in Berkeley County has 57 confirmed cases of COVID-19, and another in Columbia has 29, according to data released today by the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control.

DHEC said it is trying to better define the scope of the coronavirus within nursing homes, assisted living and similar long-term care facilities by providing regular updates on COVID-19 cases confirmed in residents and staff members.

Heartland Health and Rehabilitation Care Center, located at 1800 Eagle Landing Blvd. in Hanahan and classified in the DHEC data as a nursing home, has the most confirmed cases among state facilities with 57. Midlands Health and Rehabilitation Center, located at 1007 N. Kings St. in Columbia and also listed as a nursing home, has the next-most with 29.

Greer Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center has 22 confirmed cases, and Greenville Post Acute Care has 19. Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital, located in Columbia’s Prisma Richland Health campus on Colonial Drive, has 18.

No other facility listed in the provisional data (.pdf) collected since April 3 has double-digit cases.

DHEC said it would release the number of deaths related to COVID-19 at those facilities next week.

Respiratory illnesses such as COVID-19 spread in nursing homes and assisted living facilities because of shared living and dining areas, as well as a limited ability for residents to practice social distancing, according to the release. DHEC has issued guidance and recommendations for protecting residents and workers at those facilities.

S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster’s March 13 executive order stopped public visitation at such facilities.

“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,” Dr. Joan Duwve, named DHEC public health director on April 17, said in the release. “Around the country, nursing homes and similar facilities have been challenged to implement unprecedented safety precautions while also providing important care to their residents.”