South Carolina Shatters Daily Covid-19 Case Record

Numbers continue to climb … but when will we know about the severity, contagiousness of positive tests?

South Carolina shattered its daily record for confirmed Covid-19 cases, according to data released by state health officials on Friday – thus continuing a recent acceleration of the virus’ spread across the Palmetto State.

How many of these were serious cases involving contagious Covid-19 carriers, though?

Good question … the state doesn’t release that sort of information, sadly.

According to the latest numbers from the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) there were 3,648 new confirmed Covid-19 cases on December 16, 2020 – the most recent day for which complete data is available. That number easily eclipsed the revised record of 3,169 cases reported on December 9, 2020.

In another ominous trend, the seven-day rolling average for daily new cases is poised to eclipse 3,000 if the current trend lines continue.

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And while much of the recent spike in positive tests is due to greatly expanded testing, the percentage of tests coming back positive in the latest daily batch of results was 25.9 percent – the second-highest reading since health officials began tracking the virus in early March.

On the hospitalization front, numbers continued to tick up toward the previous peak seen in mid-summer – during the second wave of the virus.

As of December 18, 2020, 1,460 Covid-19 patients were hospitalized – accounting for 15.86 percent of all inpatient admissions in the Palmetto State.

Of those, 315 Covid-19 patients (21.58 percent) were in intensive care units (ICUs) and 143 Covid-19 patients (9.79 percent) were on ventilators.

A total of 82.56 percent of the state’s hospital beds are currently occupied, including 79.74 percent of its ICU beds and 28.16 percent of its ventilators.

Once again, it is not known to what extent the virus is driving the severity of these hospitalizations – as many of those hit with Covid-19 are dealing with multiple “comorbidities.”

And as we noted in a recent post, mortality across the nation does not appear to be rising much above normal levels in 2020 – although we do not have complete data available on that count.

On the fatality front, health officials announced another 28 deaths involving Covid-19 – bringing the statewide coronavirus-related toll to 4,512 since health officials began tracking the data. Another 360 deaths are believed to involve Covid-19.

Looking ahead, South Carolina’s coronavirus death toll is still projected to hit 7,843 by April 1, 2021, according to the latest projections from the ever-erratic Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) in Seattle, Washington.

Last week, IMHE was estimating 6,483 total deaths by April 1, although as mentioned this number fluctuates wildly.




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