CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - DHEC officials have announced the second highest number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in a single day with 1,273 cases on Friday.
Friday’s update brings the total number of people confirmed to have COVID-19 in the state to 30,263, and those who have died to 694, according to the Department of Health and Environmental Control.
The death reported on Friday was an elderly individual from Greenville County.
There are currently 906 hospital beds occupied by patients who have either tested positive or are under investigation for COVID-19. The total number of individuals tested yesterday statewide was 6,969 (not including antibody tests) and the percent positive was 18.3%.
During a press conference on Friday afternoon, Gov. Henry McMaster said he will not enact a face mask mandate saying it would not be enforceable throughout South Carolina.
“It is ineffective, it is impractical to have a mandate to have everyone wear a mask, because it is not enforceable,” McMaster said during Friday afternoon’s press conference.
The governor said issuing a mandate to wear a mask and not be able to enforce it gives a false sense of security for those who believe that everybody is following the rules.
McMaster continued to urge the public to wear a mask and practice social distancing. “Wear a mask, wear a mask, wear mask,” he said during Friday’s presser.
As of Thursday, 80 percent of 16,281 COVID-19 patients, who DHEC has onset data on, have recovered from COVID-19 while 20 percent remain ill.
The following is a breakdown provided by DHEC of total positive cases and total deaths in Lowcountry counties.
The number of new cases reported on Friday, June 26 by county are listed below:
Abbeville (1), Aiken (11), Anderson (16), Bamberg (2), Barnwell (2), Beaufort (30), Berkeley (40), Charleston (216), Cherokee (5), Chester (2), Chesterfield (6), Clarendon (17), Colleton (11), Darlington (10), Dillon (7), Dorchester (20), Florence (19), Georgetown (65), Greenville (187), Greenwood (3), Horry (82), Jasper (8), Kershaw (21), Lancaster (9), Laurens (28), Lee (8), Lexington (109), Marion (1), Marlboro (6), Newberry (7), Oconee (19), Orangeburg (29), Pickens (28), Richland (98), Saluda (3), Spartanburg (57), Sumter (42), Union (2), Williamsburg (6), York (40)
DHEC officials said they have also begun to report probable cases and probable deaths in regard to COVID-19.
The number of new probable cases are listed below:
DHEC released the following information on specific cases.
A confirmed case is an individual who had a confirmatory viral test performed by way of a throat or nose swab and that specimen tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, which is the virus that causes COVID-19. A positive viral test, also called a PCR test or molecular test, alone is enough to classify a confirmed case.
- A probable case is an individual who has not had a confirmatory viral test performed but has: epidemiologic evidence and clinical evidence of infection, or a positive antibody blood test and either epidemiologic evidence or clinical evidence. (A positive antibody test alone is currently not a reliable method for diagnosing a COVID-19 infection.)
- A confirmed death is someone whose death is related to COVID-19 and who tested positive with a confirmatory viral test for COVID-19.
- A probable death is an individual whose death certificate lists COVID-19 disease or SARS-CoV-2 as a cause of death or a significant condition contributing to death but did not undergo confirmatory viral testing.
State health officials say evidence is increasing about the high rates of infection in people who do not have symptoms and don’t know they are infectious.
“This places everyone at risk of getting the virus or unknowingly transmitting it to someone else,” DHEC officials said.
Recommended steps that the public can take include:
- Practicing social distancing
- Wearing a mask in public
- Avoiding group gatherings
- Regularly washing your hands
- Staying home if sick