Confirmed or presumed positive coronavirus cases in South Carolina remained steady over the weekend – with health officials releasing data for the fiftieth consecutive day related to the spread of the virus in the Palmetto State.
According to the latest release from the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC), there were 180 new confirmed or presumed positive cases of the virus since the last batch of data was released on Friday. That brings the statewide total for confirmed or presumed positive cases to 5,253 since the agency reported the state’s first confirmed cases on March 6, 2020.
Take a look …
In addition to the updated case information, SCDHEC reported nine additional deaths related to the virus – bringing the statewide death toll to 166 since officials have been tracking the outbreak. According to the agency, eight of the recently announced fatalities were elderly individuals from Berkeley (2), Colleton (1), Florence (2), Greenville (1), Orangeburg (1) and Richland (1) counties – along with one middle-aged individual from Lee county.
SCDHEC did not say whether any of the nine newly announced fatalities had underlying health conditions.
For comparison purposes, the 2017-2018 flu season – which was a “severe” season, according to SCDHEC – killed 292 South Carolinians.
The coronavirus will come close to killing that many people, according to the latest projections from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME). According to IHME modeling, 283 South Carolinians are likely to die as a result of the virus (or at least the first wave of the virus).
Previous IHME models had estimated as many as 1,100 South Carolinians would die of coronavirus-related complications.
How many died before the state began tracking the virus, though? And how many South Carolinians had it previously and recovered from it?
Those are critical questions … and we won’t know the answers until testing is widespread, accurate and comprehensive.
Unfortunately, after a brief rebound from its abysmal early performance on the testing front, South Carolina is once again backsliding. As of Saturday afternoon, the Palmetto State ranked No. 45 nationally in terms of the number of its citizens who had been tested – with only 1,002 completed tests per 100,000 citizens.
Only Ohio and Texas (959 apiece), Arizona (918), Kansas (868) and Virginia (863) ranked worse on this key metric.
Some good news? As our news director Mandy Matney reported yesterday, 73 percent of South Carolinians confirmed to have contracted the virus have recovered from it – with only 27 percent “still experiencing some phase of the illness.” The agency also estimated that 78 percent of those confirmed to have contracted the virus did not require hospitalization.
SCDHEC projections for future confirmed cases also continued to decline. The agency originally projected the state would see 8,677 cases by March 2 – but is now only expecting to see 6,206 cases on that date. SCDHEC is projecting a total of 6,953 confirmed or presumed positive cases by March 9.
Where is the virus hitting the Palmetto State the hardest?
Richland county – located in the center of the state – remains the runaway leader with 787 cases. Richland also has the most coronavirus-related deaths – with eighteen. Greenville county – the most populous region of the Upstate – is second in both confirmed cases (564) and deaths (16).
As of this writing, there are fifteen South Carolina counties with at least 100 confirmed cases: Richland (787), Greenville (564), Charleston (424), Lexington (317), Beaufort (253), Spartanburg (243), Florence (242), Kershaw (215), Sumter (213), Horry (201), Berkeley (181), York (177), Clarendon (172), Anderson (138) and Darlington (103).
To view the spread of the outbreak, here is the latest “heat map” from SCDHEC …
(Click to view)
When it comes to the intensity of the virus, four rural counties are bearing the brunt of its impact. Clarendon county has an astoundingly high rate of 509.7 cases per 100,000 citizens – the worst in the state. Next up is Kershaw county – the original epicenter of the outbreak – which has a rate of 323 cases per 100,000 citizens. Lee county (303 cases per 100,000 citizens) and Sumter county (199.6 cases per 100,000 citizens) rank third and fourth, respectively.
Nationally, as of Saturday evening there were 938,133 total cases across America and 48,303 deaths according to a database maintained by The New York Times. Globally, there were nearly 2.9 million confirmed cases and nearly 202,700 deaths, according to the latest data from Johns Hopkins.
This news outlet is committed to providing our readers with the very latest, most relevant information we have related to this unfolding global story – and all of the stories we cover. To check out more of our coronavirus coverage, click on the link below …
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