South Carolina shattered its daily record for new coronavirus cases, according to data released on Friday afternoon by the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC). However, the percentage of those testing positive actually decreased modestly from recent days.
State health officials reported 3,217 new confirmed Covid-19 cases from December 9, 2020 – easily eclipsing the revised 2,721 cases it reported for December 3, 2020 (the previous record).
The good news? The higher number of cases was due to expanded testing, as the percent positive for the new record-breaking figure stood at 18.6 percent – which is the lowest it has been since November 29, 2020.
Still, this figure is higher than the 14.4 percent positive rate SCDHEC has recorded for all tests since it began tracking the virus back in March.
SCDHEC announced 47 additional deaths attributed to Covid-19 and its related complications/ comorbidities, bringing the statewide death toll to 4,332 – again, since records first began being kept in March.
As of this writing, the state’s case fatality rate remained at 1.9 percent – the lowest it has been since early August. That total includes 341 “probable” Covid-19 deaths, incidentally.
South Carolina’s coronavirus death toll is projected to hit 6,483 by April 1, 2021, according to the latest projections from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) in Seattle, Washington.
That estimate is a significant downgrade from the previous projection, which called for 7,611 Covid-19-related deaths over the same period.
As of this writing, 87.1 percent of Covid-19-related deaths in South Carolina were among citizens 61 years of age or older – including 68.6 percent among citizens 71 years of age or older and 38.3 percent among citizens 81 years of age or older.
Conversely, only 4.5 percent of Covid-19-related fatalities in South Carolina were among citizens aged fifty years or younger – further underscoring the extent to which the virus is not targeting younger, healthier people.
Take a look …
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Again, we do not present this data in an effort to minimize the impact of the virus (or to place a premium on one life over another). Furthermore, those who have lost loved ones to the virus clearly do not hurt any less because their friends or relatives were advanced in years.
Our only objective is to provide context for risk.
Especially the risk of shutting down the country again …
While agency officials heralded the development of vaccines as “the light at the end of the tunnel,” they continued to call on “all South Carolinians to continue to act to reduce the spread of Covid-19.”
“No one else should have to die at the hands of this silent killer,” said Dr. Linda Bell, South Carolina’s state epidemiologist. “It is within all of our powers to stop COVID-19. As we each wait patiently for our turn to receive the COVID-19 vaccines, let’s keep doing our part by wearing our masks and practicing social distancing.”
Bell has previously sparred with S.C. governor Henry McMaster over the severity of the virus, accusing his administration of being “manipulative” in its attempt to downplay concerns she has raised in the past.
Bell and McMaster were clearly not singing off of the same sheet of music during the most recent of the governor’s increasingly infrequent press conferences related to the virus – which included ominous charts juxtaposed with McMaster’s affable inanity.
In one concerning statistic we are tracking, hospitalizations related to Covid-19 continued to climb – hitting 1,217 as of December 3. That’s a 61.8 percent increase since November 15. Meanwhile, intensive care hospitalizations clocked in at 275 – a 50.2 percent increase since mid-November – and Covid-19 patients on ventilators registered at 128, a 48.8 percent increase over the same time period.
Coronavirus-related hospitalizations remain below their peak of more than 1,700 in early August (during the summer surge of the virus) – but as we noted last week these steady increases “are concerning given the strain Covid-19 has already placed on the state’s health care delivery system.”
Also concerning? The recovery rate for the virus – which for months registered above 90 percent – has dipped to 88.2 percent, according to the latest data.
As we have said all along, our goal in covering this virus continues to be to provide our readers with the raw numbers associated with Covid-19 – as well as our best assessment of these data points.
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