Summerville reports first case of coronavirus, bringing SC total to 48

Summerville reports first case of coronavirus, bringing SC total to 48

A woman with a mask walks down Rivers Avenue near the Roper St. Francis Transition Clinic Monday.

A patient at the Summerville Medical Center has tested positive for the coronavirus, Trident Health officials said. The new case brings South Carolina’s total to 48 cases in 14 counties.

The hospital was notified of the positive test result by the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control late Tuesday night, Trident Health spokeswoman Kelly Bowen said.

The patient is a Charleston County resident, Dorchester County officials said. The patient was isolated and will remain at the Summerville Medical Center.


Officials would not say how the individual may have contracted the virus.

Summerville Medical Center instituted visitor restrictions more than 10 days ago, Bowen said. Visitors and patients are screened, and any potential symptomatic patients are masked and isolated upon entry to the hospital.

As the number of reported cases grow, the state has introduced new measures daily to slow the spread. On Tuesday, Gov. Henry McMaster ordered that all restaurants and bars close dine-in service, transitioning to delivery and take-out only. Gatherings have been restricted to 50 people or less across the state, which police plan to enforce.

The city of Charleston has suspended all city-permitted tours, effective noon Wednesday.

The ACLU of South Carolina urged criminal justice institutions to follow suit and allow inmates to practice as much social distancing as possible.

Police, they said, should limit arrests to serious infractions, and especially avoid taking people into custody for breaking laws that disproportionately affect homeless people.

The also asked solicitors to seek sentences that don’t unnecessarily land people in jail or under house arrest without medical care, and dismiss cases involving minor offenses. Temporarily vacating fine and fee enforcement would also lower the incarceration rate.

Judges could balance accessibility and safety in their courtrooms by avoiding bench warrants and allowing personal recognizance bonds for defendants who can’t afford bail, the ACLU argued.

Jail and prison administrators say they’ve already taken steps to increase sanitation and distance between inmates, but the ACLU urged them to make testing and medical care more accessible and find isolation tactics that don’t include solitary confinement.