CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - State health officials have reported 1,537 new cases of COVID-19 and 38 additional deaths in South Carolina.
However, the deaths reported on Wednesday included some deaths of individuals that were delayed in being reported to DHEC since June 24, according to officials with the Department of Health and Environmental Control.
State health officials said 1,404 hospital beds were currently being used by patients who have tested positive or under investigation for COVID-19.
Wednesday’s update brings the total number of people confirmed to have COVID-19 in the state to 48,770, and those who have died to 876, according to DHEC. So far, there has been a total of 139 probable cases and 8 probable deaths, the state health agency reported.
Thirty-two of the deaths reported on Wednesday occurred in elderly individuals from Charleston, Dillon, Dorchester, Georgetown, Greenville, Horry, Kershaw, Laurens, Orangeburg, Pickens, Richland, Saluda, and Spartanburg counties; five of the deaths occurred in middle-aged individuals from Charleston, Horry, and Spartanburg counties; and one death occurred in a young adult from Laurens County.
As of yesterday, a total of 497,122 tests have been conducted in the state. The total number of individuals tested yesterday statewide was 7,323 (not including antibody tests) and the percent positive was 21.0%.
The latest recovery data provided by DHEC shows 89% of 21,552 individuals, who the department has onset data on, have recovered from COVID-19 while 11% remain ill.
Across South Carolina, 18 counties have high enough risk levels for contracting COVID-19 to warrant stay-at-home orders, according to researchers at the Harvard Global Health Institute. The agency posted a state map displaying risk levels for the coronavirus, listing 18 of the state’s 46 counties as having a high risk level.
In the Lowcountry, those counties include Charleston, Berkeley, Dorchester, Georgetown, Beaufort and Jasper Counties. Risk levels were calculated based a rolling seven-day average of cases per 100,000 in the county’s population.
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 Wednesday, July 8 by county are listed below:
Abbeville (3), Aiken (13), Anderson (61), Bamberg (3), Beaufort (64), Berkeley (79), Calhoun (5), Charleston (260), Cherokee (11), Chester (5), Chesterfield (10), Colleton (8), Darlington (12), Dillon (6), Dorchester (76), Edgefield (5), Fairfield (4), Florence (30), Georgetown (48), Greenville (167), Greenwood (50), Hampton (1), Horry (170), Jasper (7), Kershaw (9), Lancaster (5), Laurens (21), Lee (1), Lexington (86), Marion (4), Marlboro (6), McCormick (2), Newberry (9), Oconee (8), Orangeburg (30), Pickens (35), Richland (66), Saluda (8), Spartanburg (77), Sumter (8), Union (7), Williamsburg (12), York (45)
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