South Carolina suffered its deadliest day yet in the coronavirus pandemic with 12 deaths and 139 new cases recorded on Wednesday, according to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC).
South Carolina now has a total of 2,552 COVID-19 cases and 63 deaths, officials said Wednesday. Just one week ago, the state had 1,293 cases and 26 deaths.
Ten of the patients who died were elderly, while two of them were middle-aged with underlying health conditions, SCDHEC officials said.
Both Richland and Spartanburg counties lost three residents each on Wednesday. The other patients were from Horry, Kershaw, Laurens, McCormick, Newberry, and Clarendon counties.
Richland County — the epicenter of the pandemic since Sunday — recorded both the highest amount of new cases (32) and the most deaths (3) on Wednesday. Richland is the second most populous county in South Carolina and is home to the state capital of Columbia.
While a total of 372 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Richland County, SCDHEC estimates that there are around 2,044 cases total. SCDHEC’s estimations factor the amount of people who likely have or had the virus but were never tested.
Breaking it down by areas within Richland County, the 29223 zip code(covering northeast Columbia, Dentsville, and Woodfield, South Carolina) has the highest number of cases with 62 reported and 381 estimated.
“Regardless of the number of reported cases within an area, all South Carolinians should take seriously, the recommended precautions for protecting against this disease,” SCDHEC officials warned.
Charleston County — the state’s third most populous county — has the second highest amount of cases with 308 positive COVID-19 cases.
Greenville County — the most populous in the state — has the third highest cases with 223.
Kershaw County — a much smaller county that was ground zero for the virus in South Carolina — has 165 cases. DHEC officials estimate that the 29020 area code in Camden/ Kershaw County has more than 540 cases. As of Yesterday, Kershaw County was the 79th county in the U.S. for coronavirus cases per capita.
As of Wednesday, 22,082 people have tested negative for COVID-19 in South Carolina with a total of 24,634 tests.
SCDHEC is reporting that 52.7 percent of South Carolina hospitals are in use. State officials report that 25 percent of the first 1,987 coronavirus cases in South Carolina required hospitalization.
The current mortality rate for coronavirus in South Carolina is about 2.4 percent — and that’s only counting reported cases.
An estimated 470 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.
McMaster said the order makes most of the previous requests urging social distancing measures now mandatory. It goes into effect at 5 p.m. Tuesday, the South Carolina governor said in a Monday afternoon press conference.
South Carolinians must not leave their homes unless working, recreating outdoors, seeing family, or obtaining necessary goods or services, McMaster said.