CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - State health officials have reported 1,741 new cases of COVID-19 breaking the daily record in South Carolina. Officials have also reported 17 additional deaths.
Charleston County reported the most cases on Tuesday with 375.
Tuesday’s update brings the total number of people confirmed to have COVID-19 in the state to 36,297, and those who have died to 735, according to the Department of Health and Environmental Control.
There are currently 1,021 hospital beds occupied by patients who have either tested positive or are under investigation for COVID-19.
The deaths reported on Tuesday include seventeen elderly individuals from Aiken, Berkeley, Charleston, Dillon, Edgefield, Florence, Greenville, Horry, Lexington, McCormick, Orangeburg, Pickens, and Spartanburg, and two of the deaths occurred in middle-aged individuals from Florence and Richland counties.
DHEC officials are also urging South Carolinians to avoid large group gatherings for the Fourth of July holiday weekend. The agency says residents should make “safe, responsible plans” for celebrating that include precautions to protect against the spread of COVID-19.
“More and more of South Carolina’s positive cases are individuals who participated in group gatherings without keeping a safe distance from others or wearing masks,” DHEC officials said in a release.
The number of new positive cases in a day are the highest they’ve ever been, as is the number of people currently hospitalized due to COVID-19 complications, which is currently more than 1,000, the agency said. They blame a lack of social distancing and mask-wearing as contributing to the state’s escalating numbers.
As of yesterday, a total of 420,061 tests have been conducted in the state. The total number of individuals tested yesterday statewide was 9,174 (not including antibody tests) and the percent positive was 19%.
The latest recovery data released by DHEC was on Monday which shows that 84% of 18,418 individuals, who the department has onset data on, have recovered from COVID-19, while 16% remain ill.
The following is a breakdown provided by DHEC of the latest total positive cases and total deaths in Lowcountry counties.
The number of new cases reported on Tuesday, June 30 by county are listed below:
Abbeville (7), Aiken (28), Anderson (28), Bamberg (10), Barnwell (2), Beaufort (70), Berkeley (60), Calhoun (4), Charleston (375), Cherokee (9), Chester (12), Chesterfield (3), Clarendon (4), Colleton (6), Darlington (12), Dillon (6), Dorchester (87), Fairfield (8), Florence (40), Georgetown (16), Greenville (125), Greenwood (26), Hampton (3), Horry (170), Jasper (10), Kershaw (26), Lancaster (29), Laurens (49), Lee (3), Lexington (100), Marion (16), Marlboro (1), McCormick (2), Newberry (9), Oconee (7), Orangeburg (51), Pickens (31), Richland (137), Saluda (1), Spartanburg (55), Sumter (38), Union (6), Williamsburg (12), York (47)
DHEC officials said they have also begun to report probable cases and probable deaths in regard to COVID-19.
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