New Projections Show SC Past COVID-19 Peak, Death Toll Estimates Decline

SCDHEC released recovery rate info on Friday.


South Carolina health officials reported that 67 percent of nearly 4,000 people who have tested positive for coronavirus in South Carolina have recovered from the illness.

South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) officials said the recovery rate does not include the 116 people who have died so far from coronavirus.

SCDHEC officials said Friday they will now be releasing recovery rate information every Tuesday and Friday. Officials said the 33 percent of individuals who still have coronavirus are “experiencing some phase of the illness.” The recovery rate includes patients who have tested positive and “did not report adverse outcomes” either 14 days after their illness onset for those who weren’t hospitalized, or 32 days for those who were hospitalized.

Perhaps more importantly than the recovery rate are the latest projections from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), a leading model for COVID-19 used by SCDHEC, showing that South Carolina has possibly moved past the projected peak of the virus, which they are now saying was on April 9.

According to IHME, 217 South Carolinians are expected to die from the coronavirus in total between March and August. This projection is dramatically down from the estimated 680 deaths projected just yesterday.

IHME modeling – which has been criticized – now projects the peak of the the first wave of the virus already hit the Palmetto State in the last week. Experts previously projected COVID-19 to peak in late April to early May. It’s important to note these models have changed dramatically in the last few weeks and they could change again.

Roughly 59 percent of the state’s total cases have been reported in the last two weeks.

South Carolina officials estimate that about 77 percent of COVID-19 patients in the state did not require hospitalization for their illness.

Experts warn that it would be dangerous to let up on social distancing now, and the spikes we are seeing now would be much greater if we went back to our old ways.

“Vigilance is needed to assure that the COVID-19 transmission remains controlled,” MUSC officials said in a news release. “If social distancing is reduced now, new cases could grow quickly.”

State health officials also released new information on coronavirus in healthcare facilities Friday. SCDHEC reports there are 49 nursing home/ rehab/ assisted living facilities with at least one COVID-19 case in South Carolina and 188 total cases from those facilities. Health officials say 208 health care workers in South Carolina have tested positive for COVID-19.

South Carolina now has a total of 4,086 COVID-19 cases and 116 deaths after an additional 163 cases and 10 deaths were reported Friday, officials said.

Here’s a breakdown of the amount of daily coronavirus cases reported in South Carolina since its first case March 6 — showing the ups and downs of daily counts.

About 54.2 percent of the state’s hospital beds were in use as of Friday morning.

Among the seven residents who died from coronavirus in South Carolina Friday, “three were elderly individuals with underlying health conditions from Florence (1), Richland (1), and Lexington (1) counties. Three were elderly individuals with no reported underlying conditions from Berkeley (1), Lee (1), and Horry (1) counties. One was a middle-aged individual with no reported underlying health conditions from Sumter County (1),” according to SCDHEC.

According to SCDHEC’s projections predicting 8,677 total cases by May 2, South Carolina has had less cases than expected this week. Those projections said SC would have 4,969 cases by tomorrow.

Richland County — the epicenter of the pandemic for more than a week now — recorded an additional 15 new cases on Friday. Richland is the second most populous county in South Carolina and is home to the state capital of Columbia. Richland now has 612 reported cases, but SCDHEC estimates around 3,759 positive coronavirus cases (assuming several cases for every reported case).

“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 have warned.

Greenville County — the most populous in the state — has the second highest cases with 447 (2,746 estimated).



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