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South Carolina Coronavirus Update: Cases Show Only Modest Uptick Despite Testing Surge

Death toll hits single-day high, though …

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South Carolina coronavirus cases showed only modest increases on Monday despite a major uptick in testing from the previous day. That would seem to provide further evidence that the spread of the disease in the Palmetto State is abating …

The positive data was muted, however, by the announcement of a new daily death toll record.

According to updated information provided by the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC), there were 140 additional confirmed or presumed positive coronavirus cases in South Carolina since the last batch of data was released on Sunday. That brings the statewide total to 7,792 confirmed or presumed positive cases since health officials began compiling data on March 6, 2020.

Take a look …

The updated case data came as SCDHEC announced results from 5,511 additional completed tests – bringing the statewide total for completed tests to 89,968. Only 2.54 percent of completed tests announced on Monday yielded positive results. By comparison, there were 113 new cases announced on Sunday out of 3,694 additional completed tests (a 3.06 percent positive rate).

Both of those numbers marked the lowest daily positive percentages since SCDHEC began releasing this information.

As of this writing, SCDHEC has yet to release any information regarding testing for coronavirus antibodies – which would begin to give us some sense as to how many of us have had the virus already.

Still, though, the trends continue to move in the right direction … even if the Palmetto State continues to lag well behind the rest of the nation in testing.

The bad news? According to health officials, a record 15 coronavirus-related deaths were announced on Monday – bringing the statewide death toll for the virus to 346.

The previous single-day high for coronavirus-related deaths was 14 – reported on April 28, 2020.

According to SCDHEC, eleven of the newly announced deaths were elderly individuals who lived in Charleston (1), Clarendon (1), Florence (1), Hampton (1), Lancaster (1), Lexington (3), and Richland (3) counties, while four of the deaths were middle-aged individuals who resided in Fairfield (1), Florence (2), and Sumter (1) counties.

While this is obviously no consolation for friends and family members who are mourning the loss of loved ones, there was a silver lining to the record-breaking daily death toll.

According to the latest projections from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) – which recently downgraded its projected death toll for the Palmetto State by more than 33 percent – South Carolina was supposed to see 397 deaths at this point in the outbreak, with a possible high of 424 deaths and a low-end estimate of 382 deaths.

In other words, according to the latest SCDHEC report the Palmetto State has recorded three dozen fewer deaths than the IHME’s best-case scenario for fatalities – and is nearly 100 deaths behind its worst-case scenario.

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