The coronavirus outbreak in South Carolina picked up speed and intensity on Friday, with the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) announcing it was following 86 new confirmed or presumptive positive cases – bringing the statewide total to 539 cases since data first began being released earlier this month.
The agency also announced four additional deaths related to complications from the virus – bringing the statewide death toll to 13.
“It’s never easy to have to report the deaths of members of our communities,” said Dr. Brannon Traxler, a physician with the agency. “We express our deepest sympathy to the families and loved ones of these patients.”
Reported cases in Charleston county surged – as we previously reported – climbing from 60 in the data released on Thursday to a total of 92 today. That 53.3 percent increase makes the Lowcountry metropolitan area the new epicenter for the virus in the Palmetto State.
Kershaw county – where the first coronavirus cases in South Carolina originated – had 70 confirmed cases, according to the latest data. Meanwhile Richland county – home to the state capital of Columbia, S.C. – had 65 confirmed cases and neighboring Lexington county had 25 confirmed cases.
Here is a look at the latest SCDHEC map …
(Click to view)
Looking elsewhere across the state, Beaufort county on the Lowcountry coast had 34 confirmed cases – according to the latest data – while Horry county on the Grand Strand had 24 confirmed cases.
Greenville county – the most populated region in the Upstate – had 51 confirmed cases, while neighboring Anderson county had 20 cases and neighboring Spartanburg county had 16 cases.
York county – which is a suburb of Charlotte, N.C. – had 18 positive cases.
Coronavirus cases have now been confirmed in 39 of the state’s 46 counties – with only Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Cherokee, Hampton, Laurens and McCormick counties remaining officially un-impacted.
In addition to the positive tests announced on Friday, SCDHEC also announced it had conducted 2,408 negative tests.
As we have frequently pointed out in covering the daily SCDHEC data releases, the case numbers published by the agency do not constitute the complete extent of coronavirus testing in South Carolina. Private labs are also conducting tests, and SCDHEC does not always include data from these labs in its releases. Also, positive cases obtained from both sources – private labs and government testing centers – obviously do not represent the total number of South Carolinians who have been infected by the virus.
Furthermore, SCDHEC acknowledged on Thursday something we first reported earlier this week – that it was running low on critical supplies (including reagents) necessary to conduct the tests.
That means the agency’s already limited testing capability has been further hamstrung – hindering the ability of policymakers to make informed decisions about how to best contain the spread of the virus.
“It is becoming abundantly clear the cases being announced on a daily basis by SCDHEC do not in any way, shape or form represent the true extent of the spread of the virus in the Palmetto State,” we noted in a post earlier today.
Also worth considering is this question: How many people have had coronavirus already? And never knew it?
Meanwhile, to say state and local leaders have not been singing from the same sheet of music as they attempt to respond to the virus would be an understatement.
It is a cacophony of contradiction …
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(Via: Getty Images)
After originating in Wuhan, China last fall, the coronavirus – known officially as COVID-19 or 2019-nCoV – has spread rapidly around the globe.
As of Friday evening, nearly 101,000 Americans had been confirmed as having been infected by the virus – including 1,572 who had died from complications related to it, according to a database maintained by The New York Times.
This news outlet is committed to giving our readers the very latest, most relevant information we have regarding this unfolding global story – and all the stories we cover. To check out more of our coronavirus coverage, click on the link below …
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