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SC gets N-95 masks, gloves, gowns from national stockpile

State officials confirmed Friday that it received the first of what may be multiple shipments on Tuesday, March 17.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina has received its first shipment of key medical supplies from the national stockpile to aid in the fight against the coronavirus.

State officials confirmed Friday that it received the first of what may be multiple shipments on Tuesday, March 17. The state had previously requested its full allocation from the Strategic National Stockpile. 

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The state got 55 pallets that contain N-95 masks, face shields, surgical masks, gowns, and gloves.  

The state says the distribution of materials will be data driven to ensure needs are fairly met based on county populations and emergent needs. They may get a further shipment in the next three weeks.

What is the Coronavirus? 

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more serious diseases such as pneumonia. DHEC is working with CDC to identify all those who might have been in contact with these individuals. These people will be monitored for fever and respiratory symptoms.

People can help to prevent the spread of the virus in the following ways:

  • wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after using the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. And, always wash your hands with soap and water if they are visibly dirty.
  • avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • stay home when you’re sick.
  • cough or sneeze into your elbow or use a tissue and put it in the trash immediately.
  • clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • get the influenza vaccine.

For general questions about COVID-19 residents should visit the DHEC website at scdhec.gov/COVID19 or the CDC website here.

For residents concerned about their own personal health or are showing symptoms such as fever, cough or shortness of breath, please call your personal doctor or healthcare provider. DHEC has launched its Care Line. If residents have general questions about COVID-19, the DHEC Care Line is here to help. Call 1-855-472-3432. Staff are answering calls from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Call volume has been high. Callers are urged to be patient if they receive a busy signal and try their call at a later time.