1,497 new cases of COVID-19, and 24 additional death in South Carolina

Updated: Jul. 1, 2020 at 5:17 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - State health officials have reported 1,497 new cases of COVID-19 and 24 additional deaths in South Carolina.

Charleston County had the highest number of cases reported on Wednesday with 266 cases.

“Unless we do something dramatically different to control this disease that is spread simply by breathing from infected people, then we will be looking at projections that are far worse than what we’re experiencing now,” said Dr. Linda Bell with DHEC during a Wednesday afternoon press conference.

There are currently 1,160 hospital beds occupied by patients who have either tested positive or are under investigation for COVID-19, which Bell said was a record high.

Wednesday’s update brings the total number of people confirmed to have COVID-19 in the state to 37,809, and those who have died to 759, according to the Department of Health and Environmental Control.

Gov. Henry McMaster said on Wednesday afternoon if COVID-19 cases continue to increase in the state current restrictions on crowds may continue into the Fall.

“If we continue to see this kind of danger going across our state, we will have no choice but to keep these restrictions on crowds and gatherings in place, and that means this Fall will not be like other Falls. We will not be able to have college football, would not be able to have high school football,” McMaster said during a press conference on Wednesday afternoon.

The governor said businesses that are currently closed like movie theaters and spectator sports would not reopen if the current increase of cases continues.

Eighteen of the deaths occurred in elderly individuals from Charleston, Dillon, Fairfield, Florence, Greenville, Horry, Lancaster, Laurens, Lexington, Orangeburg, and Spartanburg counties, and five of the deaths occurred in middle-aged individuals from Richland, Laurens, Berkeley, Horry, and Charleston counties, and one death occurred in a young adult from Charleston County.

Bell said Wednesday’s reported deaths of 24 were the highest number of deaths reported in the state in a single day.

As of yesterday, a total of 429,692 tests have been conducted in the state.

The total number of individuals tested yesterday statewide was 7,834 (not including antibody tests) and the percent positive was 19.1%.

The most recent data on recovery rates was released on Monday by DHEC showing that 84% of 18,418 individuals, who the department has onset data on, have recovered from the virus while 16% remain ill.

The following is a breakdown provided by DHEC of total positive cases and total deaths in Lowcountry counties.

Beaufort County1,27818
Berkeley County1,17021
Charleston County4,28833
Colleton County33221
Dorchester County7733
Georgetown County4893
Orangeburg County77614
Williamsburg County41215

The number of new cases reported on Wednesday, July 1 by county are listed below:

Abbeville (2), Aiken (20), Allendale (2), Anderson (27), Bamberg (5), Barnwell (4), Beaufort (61), Berkeley (87), Calhoun (11), Charleston (266), Cherokee (4), Chester (4), Chesterfield (8), Clarendon (5), Colleton (4), Darlington (7), Dillon (3), Dorchester (71), Edgefield (5), Fairfield (4), Florence (31), Georgetown (32), Greenville (107), Greenwood (12), Horry (228), Jasper (6), Kershaw (26), Lancaster (19), Laurens (17), Lee (4), Lexington (83), Marion (5), Marlboro (5), Newberry (12), Oconee (11), Orangeburg (28), Pickens (20), Richland (104), Saluda (6), Spartanburg (54), Sumter (22), Union (1), Williamsburg (12), York (52)

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

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