Understand SC: State logs over 3,000 COVID deaths, hospital workers feel ‘spiritual toll’ | Understand SC

South Carolina and the United States recently reached grim milestones in the COVID-19 pandemic.

As of last week, coronavirus deaths in South Carolina had surpassed 3,000, and the U.S. death toll had exceeded 200,000 by Tuesday. 

The pandemic reached South Carolina more than six months ago, when the first confirmed cases in the state were identified on March 6. After that, the virus started to steadily spread to all 46 counties. 

Communities closed and then reopened. By the middle of the summer, the state had emerged as a hotspot for the virus, logging more than 2,000 new cases in a single day. 

This week, we talked with projects editor Glenn Smith who has kept a daily log throughout the pandemic. Those entries were used to create a timeline of key moments during in the health crisis. 

We also spoke with Rickey Dennis, who reports on religious communities in the Charleston area, about the role of local hospitals’ chaplains during the pandemic. He explained how the demand for their support has gone up as hospital workers grapple with the spiritual toll it takes to support patients who have limited visitors because of the pandemic. 

Because of restrictions put in place to help prevent the spread of the virus, hospital caretakers are often the only persons present when a patient dies from COVID-19. 

Chaplains are also in a unique position, Dennis explained, as they’re more needed than ever but have to find ways to provide comfort while practicing social distancing and utilizing technology. 

Listen now to learn more.  

The most up-to-date information on COVID-19 cases and deaths in South Carolina can be found on our COVID-19 dashboard. 

Understand SC is a weekly podcast from The Post and Courier that draws from the reporting resources and knowledge of the newspaper to help you better understand our state. This episode was hosted by Emily Williams and Gavin McIntyre. It was edited by Matt Rasnic.

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