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SC records 4 new coronavirus deaths and 156 new cases; Charleston updates reopening rules

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Testing (copy) (copy)

Swabs used to test for the coronavirus are ready for patients at the Roper St. Francis drive-thru testing site on Rivers Avenue in North Charleston in March. State public health officials said on Thursday four more people in South Carolina have died of the coronavirus and 156 more people had become infected.  File/Lauren Petracca/Staff 

State public health officials said on Thursday four more people in South Carolina have died of the coronavirus and 156 more people had become infected. 

According to the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control, 10,788 people have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the state since the novel coronavirus was detected here in early March and 470 people have died in that time. 

All four new deaths were people 65 or older and were from Chesterfield, Fairfield, Greenville and York counties, DHEC said. 

In Charleston on Thursday, City Council voted to keep its state of emergency in place until June 30.

Council members reworded stay-at-home and business-reopening ordinances to align with Gov. Henry McMaster's executive orders.

In addition, many restrictions have been lifted. Mayor John Tecklenburg told City Council that playgrounds will be reopened and signs will be placed in parks to encourage hand washing and social distancing.

Across the tri-county area, election officials told The Post and Courier they have received thousands of absentee ballots for the June 9 primary elections from people trying to avoid in-person voting as a way to remain free from coronavirus infections. In Charleston County alone, 5,538 ballots had been returned by Thursday and as many as 24,000 absentee ballots are expected in the primaries.

Over 6,000 absentee ballots are expected in Berkeley County and Dorchester County has provided voters with 3,000 absentee ballots so far.

Also on Thursday, DHEC announced a series of free, mobile, coronavirus testing clinics for Friday and Saturday.

The best of health, hospital and science coverage in South Carolina, delivered to your inbox weekly.


The locations for Friday include:

  • 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., St. James Health and Wellness, 1189 Tibwin Road, McClellanville; 
  • 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Charleston Convention Center, 5000 Coliseum Drive, North Charleston, by appointment only;  
  • 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m., The Technology Center, 3721 Magnolia St., Orangeburg; 
  • 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Branchville Sports Complex, 2645 Classic Road, Branchville; 
  • 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Boys and Girls Club, 1313 Cannon Bridge Road, Cordova; 
  • 10 a.m.-4 p.m., State Fairgrounds, 1200 Rosewood Drive, Columbia, by appointment only;  
  • 10 a.m.-4 p.m., McLeod Operational Health Commerce Park, 3257 Gen. William West Drive, Florence;
  • 2 p.m.-4 p.m., Tidelands Health at The Market Common, 2200 Crow Lane, Myrtle Beach; and
  • 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Fair-Oak Youth Center, 150 School House Road, Westminster. 

Clinics on Saturday include:

  • 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Charleston Convention Center, 5000 Coliseum Drive, North Charleston, by appointment only; and
  • 10 a.m.-4 p.m., State Fairgrounds, 1200 Rosewood Drive, Columbia, by appointment only.

To make an appointment at clinics designated "by appointment only," visit www.thelittleclinic.com/drivethru-testing.

There are 87 mobile testing events scheduled through July 2. To find out more, visit scdhec.gov/covid19testing.

There are also 145 permanent testing sites located around the state, DHEC said. 

Mikaela Porter contributed to this report.

Reach Gregory Yee at 843-937-5908. Follow him on Twitter @GregoryYYee.

Gregory Yee covers breaking news and public safety. He's a native Angeleno and previously covered crime and courts for the Press-Telegram in Long Beach, CA. He studied journalism and Spanish literature at the University of California, Irvine.

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