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Columbia nursing home has most COVID-19 cases in state

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A Richland County nursing home has the highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases among residents and staff in the state, according to data released by the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control.

Midlands Health and Rehabilitation Center, located at 1007 N. Kings St. in Columbia, has 78 confirmed cases. Heartland Health and Rehabilitation Care Center, located at 1800 Eagle Landing Blvd. in Hanahan, has 76.

The Midlands facility is in the 29223 zip code, which has the highest number of reported (166) and estimated (1,020) cases in the state as of April 27, according to DHEC. Richland County has the highest number of reported (864) and estimated (5,307) cases in S.C., followed by Greenville with 661 reported and 4,060 estimated cases.

Lexington County has 347 reported and 2,132 estimated cases.

No other S.C. nursing home or long-term facility has more than 50 reported cases (.pdf). Greer Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center in Greer has 48, Carlyle Senior Care in Florence has 47, Pruitt Health - Blythewood in Columbia has 46, and Greenville Post Acute in Greenville has 45, according to DHEC.

The agency said COVID-19 outbreaks at long-term care facilities are an indicator of ongoing transmission of the virus within a community. On March 13, an executive order banned visits to such facilities, and DHEC is providing guidance and recommendations to protect residents and workers.

“This virus is taking its toll on many of our state's most vulnerable, including our friends and family who reside in long-term care facilities,” Dr. Brannon Traxler, DHEC physician, said in a news release. “DHEC continues to work with facilities and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to provide recommendations and guidance for best practices in controlling the spread of this disease.”

Nursing homes are required to reported COVID-19 cases to DHEC, which then deploys an investigative team including epidemiologists who contact the facility to collect information and staff who connect the facilities with infection preventionists to provide specific consultations.

As of April 28, South Carolina had 5,375 reported cases of the new coronavirus and 192 deaths. 

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