The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) reported another sizable surge in coronavirus cases on Sunday with 132 new cases and four deaths in the global pandemic.
South Carolina now has 2,049 total COVID-19 cases and 44 deaths, officials said Sunday. Three of the patients who died were elderly, while one was middle-aged with underlying health conditions. The patients were from Clarendon, Horry, Beaufort and Lee counties.
Just a week ago, South Carolina had a total of 774 coronavirus cases and 16 deaths.
SCDHEC is reporting that 51.5 percent of South Carolina hospitals are in use.
“The overall trend this week has been in greater hospital bed availability, specifically a 6.8 percent decrease in hospital bed utilization since March 23,” the SCDHEC news release said.
As of Sunday, 16,927 people have tested negative for COVID-19 in South Carolina with a total of 18,976 tests.
As we’ve pointed out before, the data released by SCDHEC does not represent a complete picture of the spread of the virus in South Carolina due to insufficient testing and the increasing likelihood that many residents had the virus long before the government began tracking cases in early March.
Still, South Carolina has dramatically improved its per capita testing percentage over the last week – after we exclusively reported on its below-average testing levels. On Saturday, SCDHEC announced that it would be releasing testing information from private labs.
Richland County — the second most populous county in South Carolina— is now the epicenter for the pandemic in the Palmetto State with 298 cases.
Charleston County — the state’s third most populous county — has the second highest amount of cases with 274 positive COVID-19 cases.
Greenville County — the most populous in the state — now has the third highest cases with 186.
Kershaw County — a much smaller county that was ground zero for the virus in South Carolina — has 148 cases. According to data looking at South Carolina cases per zip code, 29020 in Camden/ Kershaw County has more coronavirus cases (77) than any other zipcode.
An estimated 1,098 people will die from coronavirus in South Carolina by August — and that’s “assuming full social distancing through May 2020,” according to experts at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME). The virus is expected to peak in late April/ early May.
South Carolina is now the only state east of the Mississippi without a statewide stay-at-home order.
While there is no shelter-in-place order in South Carolina right now, Gov. Henry McMaster has issued the following orders, punishable by law enforcement:
- Schools closed through at least April 30 (March 15)
- Restaurants and bars only open for carry-out services (March 17)
- Illegal for groups of 3 or more gathered in a public place (March 21)
- Mandatory 14-day quarantine for visitors from coronavirus hotspots (March 27)
- Public access to all beaches and waterways closed (March 30)
- Non-essential businesses closed (March 31 and April 3)
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