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In Deadliest Day Yet, SC Records 14 COVID-19 Deaths, But Recovery Rate Improves

Thirteen of the residents who died Tuesday were elderly, SCDHEC officials said.

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South Carolina suffered its deadliest day yet in the coronavirus pandemic with 14 deaths and 123 new cases recorded on Tuesday, according to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC).

More South Carolina hospital beds are being utilized as well, as of Tuesday morning. SCDHEC reports a 59.8% statewide hospital bed utilization rate — which is up about two percent from yesterday and four percent from last week.

However, new data shows an improved recovery rate among South Carolina COVID-19 patients. SCDHEC said 76 percent of those who have tested positive have recovered from the virus. On Friday, state health officials said 73 percent of patients had recovered.

Thirteen of the residents who died Tuesday were elderly, SCDHEC officials said. They were from the following counties: Berkeley (1), Charleston (1), Clarendon (1), Darlington (1), Greenville (2), Horry (3), Lancaster (1), Lee (1), Richland (2), and Sumter (1). One of the people who died Tuesday was middle-aged from Clarendon County.

April 8 was the second deadliest day for COVID-19 patients in South Carolina when 12 people died.

Here’s a look a the inconsistent amount of cases and deaths reported each day since South Carolina’s first cases on March 6.

While state officials announced efforts today to ramp up testing, South Carolina ranks 46th in the nation when it comes to coronavirus tests per capita, as our founding editor Will Folks reported this morning.

To help improve its low testing rates, SCDHEC said Tuesday morning it was “deploying rapid-testing devices and testing supplies to areas of the state where testing for the virus may be limited.”

Testing kits that produce results in about 20 mintutes will be deployed to the following locations:

  • Kershaw Health (Kershaw County)
  • Self Regional Healthcare (Greenwood County)
  • Piedmont Medical Center (York County)
  • Regional Medical Center: Orangeburg Hospital (Orangeburg County)
  • Bon Secours Health System (Greenville County)
  • AnMed Health (Anderson County)
  • Aiken Regional Medical Center (Aiken County)
  • McCleod Health Clarendon (Clarendon County)
  • Spartanburg Regional Healthcare (Spartanburg County)
  • Coastal Carolina Hospital (Jasper County)
  •  MUSC Health Marion (Marion County)
  • Williamsburg Regional Hospital (Williamsburg County)
  • Lexington Medical Center (Lexington County)
  • Al Cannon Detention Center (Charleston County)
  • S.C. Department of Corrections

South Carolina has tested a total of 53,115 people and 47,380 of those tests were negative. A total of 5,735 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in SC.

Yesterday, SCDHEC said that said a private lab in Greenville just dumped a month’s worth of test results over the weekend. This somewhat explains that major spike we saw yesterday with 237 cases reported in South Carolina yesterday.

An estimated 372 people will die from coronavirus in South Carolina by August — and that’s assuming full social distancing “until infections minimized and containment implemented,” according to experts at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME).

IHME experts said that after June 13 “relaxing social distancing may be possible with containment strategies” in South Carolina. Those containment strategies include widespread testing, contact tracing, isolation, and limiting gathering size.

On Monday, NPR reported that South Carolina “does not meet estimated need for contact tracing” when it comes to health workers per 100,000 residents. South Carolina has 3.9 health workers per 100,000 residents, and the National Association of County and City Health Officials estimates that about 30 per 100K are required during a pandemic.

Richland County remains the epicenter for COVID-19 in South Carolina with 864 total cases. Here is a breakdown of cases in each county across South Carolina:

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