South Carolina continued to show measurable progress in its coronavirus testing results on Friday – improving the state’s standing in the national rankings and providing health officials with a clearer picture of the damage done by the first wave of the virus.
Obviously the real damage from the virus has been to the state’s economy …
According to the latest release from the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC), there were 232 new confirmed or presumed positive cases of the virus since the last batch of data was released on Thursday. That brings the statewide total to 8,407 confirmed or presumed positive tests since health officials began compiling data on March 6, 2020.
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While Friday’s data provided the highest daily case total in a week, some important context must be considered in assessing this spike: The agency was announcing results from a much larger pool of completed tests.
According to SCDHEC, it announced results from 7,081 new completed tests – the largest single-day total since we began tracking this metric earlier this week. SCDHEC has now completed a total of 109,616 tests. Of those, 7.7 percent have tested positive.
As recently as last week, South Carolina ranked next-to-last nationally in completed tests per 100,000 citizens according to The COVID Tracking Project. Prior to the release of Friday’s data, the state had improved to No. 42 on the national rankings – completing 2,095 tests per 100,000 citizens.
Unfortunately, SCDHEC has not released any information related to testing for coronavirus antibodies – which would show how many South Carolinians may have had the virus already.
In addition to the latest case data, SCDHEC also announced 9 additional coronavirus-related fatalities, bringing the statewide death toll associated with the virus to 380. According to the agency, eight of these newly announced deaths were elderly citizens who resided in Cherokee (1), Clarendon (1), Fairfield (1), Florence (1), Pickens (1) and Sumter (3), counties. The other newly announced fatality was a middle-aged resident of Clarendon county (1).
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(Via: Getty Images)
Coronavirus-related fatalities are now falling squarely within the latest projections from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) – which have been slashed dramatically over the past week.
IHME is calling for a total of 469 South Carolina fatalities between now and August 4, 2020 (i.e. the first wave of the virus). Earlier this week, the IHME model was projecting 744 total fatalities over the same time frame – and late last week the projected death toll for the state stood at 1,112 over the same time period.
For comparison purposes, a total of 292 South Carolinians died during the 2017-2018 flu season, according to SCDHEC.
Nationally, as of Friday afternoon there were more than 1.4 million confirmed cases and 86,736 deaths according to a database maintained by The New York Times. Worldwide, there were more than 4.5 million confirmed cases and 306,388 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins.
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