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South Carolina COVID-19 Update: Still No Hospitalization Data From SCDHEC

The latest numbers from DHEC…

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The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) released updated data on Monday (July 27, 2020) related to the status of the coronavirus pandemic within the Palmetto State.

For the last three days, SCDHEC has reported a below 20-percent positive rate.

Since July 24, SCDHEC has failed to report hospitalization data as health officials switch to a different data system.

First, the latest numbers …

New Positive Cases: 1,226 (3 probable)
Daily Percent Positive Rate: 14.6 percent
Total Positive Cases: 82,071 (334 probable)
New Deaths: 17
Total Deaths: 1,452 (54 probable)
Case Fatality Rate: 1.76 percent
Hospital Bed Utilization: No data
Covid-19 Hospitalizations: No data
Covid-19 Patients On Ventilators: No data

Here is our updated chart tracking tests and cases …

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 last 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.

So at a time when it’s absolutely crucial to watch hospitalization levels following weeks of surging cases, South Carolina is still in the dark when it comes to the number of heads in hospital beds, patients on ventilators, and patients with coronavirus.

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 27 deaths per day.

In fact, there were only four days in July where SCDHEC reported less than 10 deaths.

Nearly half of South Carolina’s COVID-19 1,452 deaths have been reported this month.

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 1.76 percent.

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