Following yet another record-breaking weekend with more than 1,500 new COVID-19 cases in South Carolina, hospitalizations ticked up — continuing an alarming trend more than a month after the state re-opened for business.
South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) announced 582 cases Monday, which was the lowest reported in the last five days.
Daily reported cases have been mostly ticking upward for the last few weeks — increasing at higher rates than most of the country.
Take a look at the daily cases reported since March 6.
For the past 12 days, South Carolina officials have reported more than 350 daily COVID-19 cases. Keep in mind, before May 30, South Carolina hadn’t reported more than 300 new daily cases ever.
In April, South Carolina averaged 170 COVID-19 cases per day. In May, that number jumped to 190 cases per day. So far in June, that number surged to an average of 509 new coronavirus cases per day.
The recent surge is not necessarily due to the state’s expanded testing. South Carolina still ranks 40th in the nation when it comes to coronavirus testing per capita, according to data from The Covid Tracking Project.
The percentage of positive cases per tests has also been ticking upward, another alarming sign that COVID-19 isn’t anywhere near contained in South Carolina.
On Monday, 8.7 percent of tests had positive results.
For most of May, the number of daily percent positive cases was less than 5 percent.
Hospitalizations are increasing upward as well — another indicator that the pandemic is still threatening lives in the Palmetto State.
On Monday, 536 people were hospitalized due to COVID-19 in South Carolina. In the last seven days, the state has averaged 517 COVID-19 hospitalizations per day — an increase from the previous week (468) and the week before that (405).
Since SCDHEC began tracking data of all COVID hospitalizations on May 5, the state has averaged 432 hospitalizations in May.
“As of this morning, 3,536 inpatient hospital beds are available and 6,947 are in use, which is a 66.27 percent statewide hospital bed utilization rate. Of the 6,947 inpatient beds currently used, 536 are occupied by patients who have either tested positive or are under investigation for COVID-19,” SCDHEC officials said in the Monday news release.
Greenville County — the largest county in South Carolina with a population of 451,225 — is the state’s epicenter for coronavirus with 3,011 total reported cases. Just one week ago, Greenville County had 2,175 cases. Two weeks ago, it had 1,619 total reported 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 2,257.
Horry County now has the third highest number of cases at 1,194.
In total, 19,378 have tested positive for COVID-19 in South Carolina and 602 people have died.
On Monday, the two deaths “occurred in elderly individuals from Charleston (1) and Lexington (1) counties,” SCDHEC said.
So far this month, South Carolina has averaged about seven deaths per day, which is down from April at about 8 COVID-19 deaths per day.
The recovery rate for those who have tested positive for coronavirus has decreased in the last week, dropping five percentage points from 83 percent last Monday to 78 percent today.
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