COLLETON COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - Colleton County officials say between June 1 and July 15 there has been a 361% increase in COVID-19 cases in the county.
According to the county, the increasing case counts are due only in part to increased testing.
County officials said the biggest reason for the increased case count is increased disease spread with people gathering in large groups, not practicing social distancing and not wearing masks in public.
“The percent positive metric should decrease when increased testing is performed,” county officials said in a statement released on Wednesday afternoon. ”The fact that the opposite is occurring (an increase in the percent positive metric with increased testing) suggests there is significant community spread of COVID19 throughout the state of South Carolina and in Colleton County.”
The county said that that in addition to increased cases and testing, South Carolina is seeing a corresponding increase in hospitalizations and ventilator usage, suggesting that there are increasing numbers of moderate and severe cases.
“This is evident locally at Colleton Medical Center,” county officials said.
Colleton County officials said they have been notified of 519 total cases of COVID-19 in Colleton County, with 181 current cases.
“Unfortunately, DHEC has also announced 23 deaths related to COVID-19 in Colleton County,” officials said. “Colleton County residents are urged to follow the guidance of Governor McMaster and the recommendations of the CDC.”
Information provided by the county states that Pruitt Health Nursing Home in Walterboro has 32 confirmed COVID-19 resident cases, 10 confirmed COVID-19 staff cases and 10 confirmed COVID-19 resident deaths.
Additionally, the Veteran’s Victory House Nursing Home has 5 confirmed COVID-19 resident cases, 4 confirmed COVID-19 staff cases and no reported deaths, according to county officials.
On Wednesday afternoon, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control reported 1,850 confirmed COVID-19 cases and five new probable cases.
That brings the total number of cases statewide to 62,071. With no new deaths reported Wednesday, the total number of deaths in South Carolina on COVID-19 remains at 984.