SC

Palmetto State’s Coronavirus Death Toll Continues To Climb

South Carolina COVID-19 Update: 160 New Cases, 6,258 Total Cases, Death Toll At 256

South Carolina deaths attributable to the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic hit double digits for the fourth day in a row on Friday, according to data released by government health officials. Previously, coronavirus deaths had topped double digits on consecutive days just once (April 14-15, 2020).

According to the latest release from the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC), there were 160 new confirmed or presumed positive coronavirus cases since the last batch of data was released on Thursday.

That puts the statewide total at 6,258 cases since SCDHEC first began releasing case data on March 6, 2020.

Take a look …

While the trend lines appear to be improving as it relates to cases, SCDHEC officials announced 12 additional coronavirus-related fatalities on Friday – bringing the statewide death toll to 256 (since officials have been tracking the spread of the virus, anyway). Forty-nine of those deaths have been reported in the last four days.

And again … we do not yet know for sure how many South Carolinians may have previously had the virus (or succumbed to it) before state government began tracking the outbreak.

According to the agency, eleven of the newly announced deaths were elderly citizens from Greenville (1), Clarendon (3), Florence (1), Horry (1), Orangeburg (1), Richland (1), Spartanburg (1) and Williamsburg (2) counties. The twelfth fatality announced on Friday was a middle-aged individual from Spartanburg county.

As the new data was being released, South Carolina governor Henry McMaster finally heeded the advice of emergency management officials and lifted a 24-day lockdown on Palmetto State residents.

(Click to view)

(Via: S.C. Governor)

In lifting the lockdown order, however, McMaster (above) sounded a cautionary tone.

“South Carolinians, now more than ever, should be vigilant in protecting themselves, their loved ones, and their communities by practicing social distancing and continuing to follow the advice and recommendations from our public health experts,” the governor tweeted.

To read our news director Mandy Matney’s report on McMaster’s latest official actions, click here. To read our most recent editorial on his handling of the crisis, click here.

According to SCDHEC, an estimated 78 percent of the confirmed coronavirus cases it had sampled involved patients who have recovered from the virus. Only 22 percent “remain ill,” the agency estimated.

The agency is sticking with its projections of 7,855 total confirmed or presumed positive cases by May 9 and 9,084 total confirmed or presumed positive cases by May 16. Originally, SCDHEC was expecting to see nearly 8,700 cases by May 2.

To hit the latest projections, the state would need to report an average of 200 new cases per day over the next eight days and an average of just over 188 new cases per day over the next fifteen days.

Speaking of projections, the much-maligned Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) is currently calling for the first wave of the coronavirus to claim the lives of 361 South Carolinians before it’s all said and done with – well below the 1,100 deaths it originally estimated.

To put those numbers in context, the 2017-2018 flu season – which was a “severe” season, according to SCDHEC – killed 292 South Carolinians.

(Click to view)

(Via: Getty Images)

One of the Palmetto State’s problems in assessing the impact of the virus has been woefully inadequate testing. As of Friday, only 59,379 total tests – or 1,213 completed tests per 100,000 citizens – had been conducted in South Carolina. According to the COVID Tracking Project, only three states – Ohio, Kansas and Arizona – had conducted fewer completed tests per 100,000 citizens.

South Carolina started at the bottom of the national rankings in terms of testing – as we exclusively reported at the time – but at one point had climbed to No. 35 nationally in testing frequency.

As of this writing, the state had fallen back to No. 47 nationally.

Across the United States, evening there were more than 1.1 million confirmed coronavirus cases across America and 64,830 deaths attributed to the virus, according to a database maintained by The New York Times. Globally, there were 3.34 million confirmed cases and nearly 238,400 deaths, according to the latest data from Johns Hopkins.

-FITSNews

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(VIA: GETTY IMAGES)

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