COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCSC) - The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) confirmed the state’s first pediatric death associated with COVID-19 on Saturday.
The COVID-19-associated death of a child under the age of five from the Midlands region was reported to the agency on July 11.
Health officials have also confirmed the highest number of reported positive cases of COVID-19 at 2,239. Seven new probable cases of the coronavirus were also confirmed.
The percent positive for Friday is also the highest to date, at 22.2%.
DHEC said younger South Carolinians continue to contribute to more and more positive cases of COVID-19. Since June 1, there has been a 436.5% increase in newly reported COVID-19 cases among the 21-30 age group, representing 22% of total confirmed cases in the state, which is the largest percentage by age group.
The agency also confirmed 18 additional confirmed deaths and four new probable deaths.
This brings the total number of confirmed cases to 54,538, probable cases to 146, confirmed deaths to 940 and 11 probable deaths.
Eleven of the confirmed deaths occurred in elderly individuals from Aiken (1), Charleston (5), Dillon (1), Horry (2), Lexington (1), and Richland (1) counties, and five of the deaths occurred in middle-aged individuals from Horry (2), Lexington (1), Orangeburg (1), and Sumter (1) counties. One death occurred in a young adult from Horry (1), and one death occurred in a child from Chester (1) county.
The four probable deaths occurred in individuals from Lancaster (1), Aiken (1), and Charleston (2) counties.
The number of new confirmed cases by county are listed below.
Abbeville (11), Aiken (34), Allendale (8), Anderson (42), Bamberg (11), Barnwell (14), Beaufort (105), Berkeley (76), Calhoun (16), Charleston (317), Cherokee (5), Chester (12), Chesterfield (5), Clarendon (16), Colleton (24), Darlington (17), Dillon (6), Dorchester (82), Edgefield (11), Fairfield (25), Florence (42), Georgetown (42), Greenville (279), Greenwood (69), Hampton (9), Horry (208), Jasper (10), Kershaw (12), Lancaster (21), Laurens (39), Lexington (81), Marion (5), Marlboro (1), McCormick (7), Newberry (17), Oconee (17), Orangeburg (64), Pickens (35), Richland (144), Saluda (13), Spartanburg (126), Sumter (58), Union (14), Williamsburg (11), York (78).
“Today, we mourn the loss of one of our children to this virus. It is heart-wrenching to lose a child under any circumstances, and especially so during a time when we have all lost so much already,” said Dr. Joan Duwve, DHEC Public Health Director. “Our state is in a dire situation and we will continue to mourn the loss of parents, grandparents, children, friends and neighbors until each and every one of us steps up to do what is right, not just for ourselves but for others. No one is immune to this deadly disease, but we each have the power to impact the path this pandemic takes in South Carolina. Choosing to wear a mask and maintain physical distance today will not only help change the course of the pandemic in South Carolina, it will help save the lives of those around us.”