Updated March 24, 2020: 5:04 p.m.
The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control is investigating 44 new cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, the department announced Tuesday. Eight new cases are in Greenville County, bringing the total number of cases to 39. Anderson and Spartanburg counties each had one new case.
The newly-released numbers bring the state’s tally to 342 cases in 36 counties, according to DHEC’s latest release.
Five people have died.
State health officials announced two of the new deaths Monday night.
“On behalf of all South Carolinians, we express our deepest sympathy for the families, friends and loved ones of these individuals. We also share gratitude to the medical workers who cared for these individuals to the best of their ability as we all face this new disease together,” said Linda Bell, a state epidemiologist.
The bulk of the state’s cases are clustered in four counties: Kershaw has the most with 58 cases, followed by Richland with 45 cases, then Greenville and Charleston, which has reported 35 cases.
Related: The latest coronavirus updates
DHEC recommended that individuals continue to take precautions to stop the spread of germs, and also noted the emotional and mental toll the pandemic may have on citizens.
“Everyone copes with stress differently, so please be thoughtful of how others are feeling during this time,” Brannon Traxler, a DHEC physician said. “It is also important for all of us, especially those of us who are most vulnerable to getting sick from the virus, to protect our mental and emotional health.”