Coronavirus cases in South Carolina continued to climb this week – although the Palmetto State’s case fatality rate dipped to its lowest level since mid-August. Also, the number of Covid-related intensive care hospitalizations – and Covid patients put on ventilators – showed modest declines.
In other words, the virus continues to be a threat – one that should compel the elderly/ immunocompromised among us to take precautions (and compel younger, healthier citizens to take precautions around them). Still, our belief is the latest uptick clearly does not warrant a second round of economically debilitating societal lockdowns.
First, though, the data …
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According to the latest numbers from the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC), there were 1,617 new confirmed cases of the virus and 86 probable cases as of November 14, 2020 – bringing the cumulative statewide totals to 182,943 confirmed cases and 11,071 probable cases since the agency began tracking Covid data in early March.
The percentage of positive tests conducted now stands at 14 percent – a number which has been rising in recent weeks.
On the hospitalization front, though, the impact of the virus is holding – even declining in several key categories.
First, the number of statewide intensive care unit (ICU) patients who tested positive for Covid-19 stood at 188 as of November 14 – down from the 30-day average of 196.7 patients. As fo Covid-19 patients on ventilators, that number stood at 89 – down from the 30-day average of 95.3.
Overall hospitalizations have ticked up, however, with 755 reported as of November 14 – up from the 30-day average of 757.2.
Obviously, we will keep a close eye on these numbers as they provide some sense of the seriousness of the virus – as well as its impact on our health care delivery system.
On the fatality front, SCDHEC also reported nine (9) new deaths associated with the virus on Saturday – bringing the statewide total since early March to 3,822 confirmed and 266 probable deaths.
According to the latest estimates from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) in Seattle, Washington – a group whose projections have varied wildly since we began covering them earlier this year – Covid-19 is projected to claim the lives of 6,488 South Carolinians by March 1, 2021 (including deaths already attributed to the virus).
That’s a reduction from last week’s estimates – when IMHE was calling for 6,982 Palmetto State deaths by February 1, 2020.
Some good news? South Carolina’s case fatality rate declined to 2.1 percent this week – the lowest it has been since August 17, 2020 and less than half its mid-May peak of 4.5 percent. Nationally, the case fatality rate is currently 2.3 percent – well below its late-May peak of 6 percent.
Case fatality rates are another indicator of the severity of the virus … and the fact they have continued to decline amid previous case spikes is a good sign.
Another good sign? As of November 13 the statewide recovery estimate for the virus stood at 91 percent – a solid number given that the state is in the midst of another noticeable uptick in cases. For more on Covid-19 key indicators in South Carolina, click here. For more data on the virus’ impact nationally, click here.
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