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After Record-Breaking Weekend For COVID-19 Cases in SC, Hospitalizations Surge

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After South Carolina health officials recorded more than 700 COVID-19 cases in a two-day weekend, hospitalizations dramatically increased on Monday — a reminder that the pandemic is still threatening lives in the Palmetto State, despite relaxed orders.

South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental (SCDHEC) announced 297 new coronavirus cases Monday and six additional deaths.

Daily reported cases have been mostly ticking upward for the last few weeks.

Take a look at the daily cases reported since March 6.

From Friday to Sunday, South Carolina hit the 300-case mark every day — a benchmark the state hadn’t met before. On Monday, the state fell just below that mark at 297, but reported less tests.

In April, South Carolina averaged 170 COVID-19 cases per day. In May, that number has jumped to 190 cases per day.

The recent surge is not necessarily due to the state’s expanded testing. The percentage of positive cases per tests has been ticking upward. On Monday, 7.7% of tests had positive results.

COVID19_14_day_percent_positive-6.1.20

SCDHEC said a total of 3,845 tests were conducted between Sunday and Monday, while more than 4,900 tests were conducted between May 28 and May 31.

Hospitalizations surged Monday as well. Monday morning, SCDHEC reported that 450 South Carolinians were hospitalized with COVID-19. That number was around 400 from May 27 to May 31.

Since SCDHEC began tracking data of all SC hospitalizations due to COVID-19 correctly on May 5, the state has averaged 432 hospitalizations in May.

Greenville County — the largest county in South Carolina with a population of 451,225 — recently became the state’s epicenter for coronavirus with 1,619 cases.

Richland County — the state’s second most populous county that was the epicenter for the virus for more than a month — now has the second highest cases at 1518.

Florence County has the third highest cases in the state at 655.

In total, more than 12,000 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in South Carolina and 500 have died.

On Monday, “all six deaths occurred in elderly individuals from Colleton (2), Fairfield (2), Horry (1), and Lexington (1) counties,” SCDHEC said.

As of May 28, 85 percent of the state’s COVID-19 patients had recovered.

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