The number of confirmed or presumed positive cases of the 2019-2020 coronavirus spiked dramatically on Monday, according to the latest numbers from the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Services (SCDHEC).
According to the agency, there are now a total of 299 cases in thirty-four of the state’s 46 counties – an increase of 103 cases since the most recent update.
That number marked a staggering 52.8 percent spike in just twenty-four hours, although the agency noted that some of the newly-announced cases were actually included from the previous day’s reporting period.
Either way, the total exceeded internal government projections exclusively reported by this news outlet last week – which called for a total of 282 cases at this point in the evolution of the outbreak.
In addition to the updated case data, the agency also announced on Monday that two additional South Carolinians had succumbed to the virus – bringing the statewide death toll to five.
“We recognize the hardships that are facing many South Carolinians as we continue to respond to this ongoing public health event,” said Dr. Brannon Traxler, an agency physician. “We encourage the public to focus on things that each of us can do to limit the spread of illness by washing your hands, covering your mouth when you cough, and practicing social distancing.”
Again, as we often note in covering these releases, the SCDHEC data does not constitute the complete extent of coronavirus testing in South Carolina. Private labs are also conducting tests, and SCDHEC does not always include this data in its releases. Furthermore, confirmed or presumed positive cases obtained from both sources – private labs and government testing centers – obviously does not represent the total number of South Carolinians who have been infected by the virus.
Those numbers may never be known …
Also, SCDHEC is not providing a breakdown in its releases of how many confirmed coronavirus cases required hospitalization – which would be helpful in assessing the severity of the confirmed cases.
Hopefully, as this grim daily ritual continues for the foreseeable future the agency will being to provide more complete information … on multiple fronts.
SCDHEC is providing a county-by-county breakdown of cases, though. And here are the latest numbers on that score …
- Kershaw County: 54
- Richland County: 43
- Charleston County: 31
- Greenville County: 31
- Beaufort County : 21
- Lexington County: 17
- Horry County: 16
- Anderson County: 15
- Orangeburg County: 8
- Darlington County: 7
- Lancaster County: 7
- York County: 7
- Berkeley County: 4
- Sumter County: 4
- Florence County: 3
- Spartanburg County: 3
- Georgetown County: 2
- Greenwood County: 2
- Lee County: 2
- Oconee County: 2
- Abbeville County: 1
- Aiken County: 1
- Calhoun County: 1
- Chester County: 1
- Colleton County: 1
- Dillon County: 1
- Edgefield County: 1
- Jasper County: 1
- Marlboro County: 1
- Newberry County: 1
- Saluda County: 1
And here is the latest map of those cases …
(Click to view)
In announcing the 299 cumulative positive cases – which date back to the first cases being announced on March 6 – SCDHEC also revealed its public health laboratory had conducted 2,012 negative tests.
Still, though, as mentioned earlier testing remains limited – and as a result is not capturing anything resembling the full scope of the virus’ impact on the state.
Complicating matters, this news outlet has learned that SCDHEC is experiencing shortages of critical test processing material – including the reagents used to conduct the coronavirus tests. According to our sources, the SCDHEC public health laboratory has been forced to borrow reagents from multiple private labs – all of which are already under immense pressure to process the deluge of samples coming in from hospitals and other medical facilities.
As of Monday afternoon, nearly 40,000 people in the United States had been infected by the virus, according to a database maintained by The New York Times. Meanwhile a total of 458 Americans had died as a result of being exposed to the coronavirus. Worldwide, there were 332,935 confirmed cases in 190 countries or territories leading to 14,510 deaths, per the latest statistics from the World Health Organization (WHO).
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