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SC COVID-19 Update: Less Cases, But Less Tests So Far In August

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The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) reported 45 additional COVID-19 deaths on Wednesday, but the Palmetto state has continued to show some promising signs of improvement in the pandemic.

SCDHEC released updated data on Wednesday (August 5, 2020) concerning the status of COVID-19 within the Palmetto State. While the number of COVID-19 cases have shown a bit of a plateau in the last week, South Carolina’s daily percent positive rate is still high.

First, the data

New Positive Cases: 1,175 (15 probable)
Daily Percent Positive Rate: 20.7 percent
Total Positive Cases: 94,837 (635 probable)
New Deaths: 45 (5 probable)
Total Deaths: 1,819 (75 probable)
Case Fatality Rate: 1.91 percent
Hospital Bed Utilization: N/A
Covid-19 Hospitalizations: 1,469
Covid-19 Patients In ICU: 363
Covid-19 Patients On Ventilators: 270
*Recovery Rate: 90 Percent

*Here’s more info on how DHEC determines the recovery rate.

Of the 45 newly reported deaths (.pdf) – which spanned from July 19 to August 4 – seven were listed as “middle-aged,” which DHEC considers between the ages of 35 and 64, and the rest were classified as “elderly,” or over 65.

Here is our updated chart tracking Covid-19 deaths …

(Via: Mandy Matney)

More than half of all COVID-19 deaths in South Carolina were reported in July.

In July, South Carolina reported an average of 30 COVID-19 deaths per day — compared to 8 deaths per day in May and June. So far in August, it’s averaging 34 deaths per day.

And here is our updated chart tracking tests and cases …

As you can see from the chart above, South Carolina’s testing efforts have decreased in the last few weeks.

So far in August, South Carolina has averaged around 6,900 COVID-19 tests per day. In July, it averaged around 8,300 tests per day.

As for hospitalizations, SCDHEC did not provide this data from July 24-27, 2020 – which the agency blamed on a federally mandated switch from a reporting system administered by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to a “TeleTracking” system administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

“DHEC is working with the S.C. Hospital Association to create a new process for gathering inpatient bed availability and occupancy from each hospital in the state, as this is the reporting metric that best provides the number of hospital beds available for caring for adult COVID-19 patients,” DHEC officials said Wednesday.

Here is our latest chart on hospitalizations (another sign showing possible plateauing)…

 South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster issued several executive orders Wednesday — to include reopening of all remaining businesses and implementing enforceable laws for restaurants.

In last week’s press conference, McMaster reopened concert halls, stadiums, spectator sport venues, amphitheaters, gymnasiums and movie theaters starting Monday Aug. 3 with certain restrictions that will be enforceable by local and state law enforcement.

Starting this week, McMaster ordered that restaurants must adhere to the following guidelines, now enforceable by law:

  • Tables must be spaced 6 feet apart.
  • No more than 50 percent occupancy indoors.
  • No gatherings at bar areas.
  • Masks required for employees and customers.

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