South Carolina health officials released another batch of coronavirus case information on Saturday as the outlook for the Palmetto State continued to improve. Also, projections for fatalities related to the first wave of the virus remained at a dramatically reduced level – following a sharp downward revision in these estimates on Friday.
According to new numbers from the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC), there were 165 additional confirmed or presumed positive coronavirus cases since the last batch of data was released on Friday. That brings the statewide total of confirmed cases to 4,246 since the agency first began tracking cases in early March.
Here is a look at the progression …
To see where these cases are located geographically, here is the latest “heat map” from SCDHEC …
(Click to view)
In addition to updated case numbers, the agency announced that three additional South Carolinians had died as a result of exposure to the virus, bringing the statewide death toll to 119. Again, that total includes only those deaths that have occurred over the past 44 days – which is how long health officials have been tracking the spread of the virus in the Palmetto State.
We have no idea at this point how many South Carolinians had the virus previously … or how many died as a result of it.
Two of the deaths announced on Saturday were elderly individuals with underlying health conditions from Horry county. The third death was a middle-aged man with no known underlying health conditions from Aiken county.
Speaking of tourism, South Carolina governor Henry McMaster is poised to reopen the Palmetto State’s beaches on Monday – or at least that is what his chief of staff Trey Walker told reporter Andy Shain of The (Charleston, S.C.) Post and Courier. Walker indicated McMaster was also preparing to relax some restrictions on certain retail establishments.
Is that a wise move?
(Click to view)
(Via: S.C. Governor)
We think so … especially amid growing concerns over the extent to which draconian lockdowns across the nation have failed to materially impact the trajectory of the virus.
Also … is the coronavirus as bad as it was billed?
While the deadly strain – which originated in Wuhan, China – is clearly dangerous and highly contagious, broad swaths of those infected by it are completely asymptomatic, while others only contract mild symptoms. On Friday, SCDHEC announced that more than two-thirds of the 4,086 people who had contracted the virus at that time had already recovered from it.
As of this writing, SCDHEC announced it had conducted 10,383 negative tests at its public health laboratory. Meanwhile, another 24,204 negative tests have been conducted at private laboratories for a total of 34,587 negative tests. The Palmetto state ranks No. 39 nationally in the extent of its testing – with 794 completed tests per every 100,000 citizens.
As testing continues to ramp up, we will obviously need to get a sense of how many of the negative tests contain coronavirus antibodies (indicating the patient in question had the virus previously).
Projections for coronavirus-related deaths in South Carolina continue to be adjusted downward, too.
According to the latest projections from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) in Seattle, Washington, only 217 South Carolinians are expected to die as result of exposure to the first wave of the virus. That figure was well below the 672 deaths projected earlier in the week (not to mention the 1,090 Palmetto State deaths the IHME was originally predicting).
IHME modeling – which has been criticized – now suggests the state passed the peak for coronavirus-related fatalities nine days ago and that deaths associated with the virus will taper off completely by May 15. Two days ago, the same modeling was projecting the peak of the the first wave of the virus to hit the Palmetto State between April 27, 2020 and May 6, 2020 with deaths gradually tapering off through the middle of June.
As of Saturday afternoon, at least 717,825 Americans had tested positive for the virus, according to a database maintained by The New York Times. Of those, an estimated 34,022 had died as result of being exposed to it – including 13,362 coronavirus-related fatalities in New York.
Of course, those New York numbers have been called into question. Just yesterday, New York City officials added 3,700 people its coronavirus death toll that were presumed to have died as a result of exposure to the virus – but who had never been tested for it.
Worldwide, as of Thursday afternoon there were more than 2.3 million confirmed cases and more than 159,500 deaths, according to the latest statistics from Johns Hopkins. The latest data from the World Health Organization (WHO) showed 2.16 million confirmed cases and nearly 146,200 deaths.
Nationally, IHME is projecting 60,308 coronavirus-related fatalities in the United States – well shy of the 250,000 deaths U.S. president Donald Trump braced the nation for at the beginning of the month.
This news outlet is committed to providing our readers with 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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