Virus claims 4 residents at nursing home

COLUMBIA — As spikes in local cases seem to be slowing, state officials reported this week that four residents at a Pickens nursing home have died of COVID-19 in the past 30 days.

According to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control’s most recent twice-weekly update on the scope of COVID-19 within nursing homes and assisted living facilities, Manna Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center on East Cedar Rock Street in Pickens has had seven confirmed cases of the virus in residents, 13 confirmed cases in staff members and four resident deaths in the past 30 days.

The nursing home has now had seven deaths related to COVID-19 since the pandemic began, according to DHEC.

DHEC also reported the death of one resident at Six Mile Retirement Center on South Main Street in Six Mile in the past 30 days during its most recent update.

Although specific information on the dates of deaths for the five recent deaths in county nursing facilities has not been provided, in an update from the same time last week, DHEC did not report any deaths in the previous 30 days for either facility.

The county has now had 17 confirmed COVID-19 deaths, and DHEC numbers show that 11 of those deaths have been nursing home residents. In addition to the seven deaths at Manna Rehabilitation and Healthcare and the recent death at Six Mile Retirement Center, one resident has died at Easley Place and two others have died at Foothills Skilled Nursing in Easley since the beginning of the pandemic, according to DHEC.

The most recent deaths come as Pickens County’s daily number of confirmed COVID-19 cases continues a slow trend downward. From last Tuesday to Monday of this week, the daily average of new reported cases was about 22 per day, down significantly from many days over the past month and a half, when the number of new confirmed cases was at least 40 on eight separate days and reached as high as 65 on June 26.

As of Monday, Pickens County had had 1,586 confirmed cases of the virus, along with three probable cases. Its rate of 1,249.96 confirmed cases per 100,000 residents was 12th-lowest of South Carolina’s 46 counties.

Statewide, DHEC reported 1,226 new confirmed COVID-19 cases on Monday along with three new probable cases and 17 additional deaths, taking the state’s total to 82,071 confirmed cases, 346 probable cases, 1,452 confirmed deaths and 54 probable deaths.

In a positive sign, the state’s percent positive on virus test results reached a monthly low on Monday, as the percent positive of the 8,395 tests reported to DHEC on Sunday was 14.6 percent. The figure had been as high as 22.2 percent on multiple days in July.

According to DHEC, when the percent positive is high, it may indicate that there isn’t enough testing being performed to capture how much disease is in the community and testing may be focused on people who are more severely ill. When the percent positive is low, it may indicate that more widespread testing is being performed and the percent positive may more accurately reflect how much disease is present in the community, DHEC said.

As part of ongoing efforts to increase testing in underserved and rural communities across the state, DHEC is working with community partners to set up mobile testing clinics that bring testing to those communities. As of Monday, there were 96 mobile testing events scheduled through Aug. 31, with new testing events added regularly. Find a mobile testing clinic event near you at

Residents can visit for information about getting tested at one of 214 permanent COVID-19 testing facilities across the state.

How South Carolinians Can Stop the Spread

Evidence is increasing about the high rates of infection in people who do not have symptoms and don’t know they are infectious, DHEC said, which places everyone at risk of getting the virus or unknowingly transmitting it to someone else.

Steps residents can take to protect themselves and others, according to DHEC, include:

• Practicing social distancing

• Wearing a mask in public

• Avoiding group gatherings

• Regularly washing your hands

• Staying home if sick

For the latest information related to COVID-19, visit Visit for stress, anxiety and mental health resources from the S.C. Department of Mental Health.