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SC COVID-19 Update: As Testing Decreases, Reported Deaths Surge



The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) released updated data on Saturday (July 25, 2020) related to the status of the coronavirus pandemic within the Palmetto State. For the second time this month, South Carolina officials reported record-breaking COVID-19 deaths.

In the last five days, South Carolina has reported more COVID-19 deaths (264) than it did in the entire month of May (250). South Carolina has reported more COVID-19 deaths this month (680) than it did in March, April, and May combined (465).

First, the latest numbers …

New Positive Cases: 1,368 (12 probable)
Daily Percent Positive Rate: 19 percent
Total Positive Cases: 79,674 (334 probable)
New Deaths: 74
Total Deaths: 1,412 (53 probable)
Case Fatality Rate: 1.77 percent
Hospital Bed Utilization: 72.75% occupancy rate
Covid-19 Hospitalizations: No data
Covid-19 Patients On Ventilators: No data

Here is our updated chart tracking tests and cases …

In the last seven days, testing has decreased across the Palmetto State. In the last week, South Caorlina averaged 7,964 tests per day. Two weeks ago, S.C. averaged 9,258 tests a day. Three weeks ago, it was averaging about 8,000 tests per day.

As we’ve reported on since the beginning of the pandemic, South Carolina’s COVID-19 testing continues to show anemic efforts compared to most of the nation.

A recent NPR news analysis ranked South Carolina as the 46th state in the nation when comparing daily testing against positive case data.

To achieve mitigation, which NPR defines as “keeping the size of current outbreaks from growing” with the goal of less than 10 percent positive tests, South Carolina needs to be doing 32,831 tests per day (or 638 tests per 100K residents).

Now, let’s take a look at daily hospitalizations…

Notice that SCDHEC doesn’t have hospitalization numbers again today?

Apparently there have been inaccuracies in their reporting the last few days as they transfer to a new tracking system, according to SCDHEC.

“Since Wednesday, hospitals have actively been making a transition to a new federal reporting system for proving bed occupancy and other important information,” the news release said. “DHEC is monitoring their efforts to transition to the new system. At this time, DHEC is aware that the information currently provided by hospitals through the new system has inaccuracies. Once DHEC is able to verify the information the hospitals are reporting as part of this new system is accurate and the system is fully implemented, we will resume our effort to provide daily data reports.”

Heading into this week, SCDHEC failed to publish any hospitalization data for four days as it transitioned to a new reporting system. Now these numbers – like Covid-19 death toll projections for South Carolina – are bouncing all over the map.

Finally, let’s take a look a look at the number of COVID-19 deaths reported in SC..

As you can see, COVID-19 deaths in South Carolina have surged in July. South Carolina averaged 8 daily coronavirus deaths in May and June. In July, the average daily death count has tripled, now at 24 deaths per day.

The case mortality rate has also increased in recent days. On Thursday, South Carolina had a 1.68 percent case mortality rate. Today, it’s at 1.77 percent.

As of July 14, 44.9 percent of South Carolina COVID-19 deaths were in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.



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