CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - State health officials have reported 1,842 new cases of COVID-19 and 69 additional deaths in South Carolina which is the most deaths reported in the state for a single day.
However, officials with the Department of Health and Environmental Control say the deaths of those individuals occurred over the past few weeks.
“This delay in reporting of an individual’s death during this pandemic is often attributed to ensuring the death is accurately reported based on the most up-to-date federal guidance for determining a COVID-19-related death,” DHEC officials said on Thursday.
Additionally, state health officials said the report of an individual’s cause of death may be delayed if the individual had numerous medical issues or it takes longer to collect the personal demographic information from the family.
DHEC said there are currently 1,578 hospital beds occupied by patients who have either tested positive or are under investigation for COVID-19, and of those patients 214 are currently on ventilators.
Thursday’s update brings the total number of people confirmed to have COVID-19 in the state to 63,880, and those who have died to 1,053, according to DHEC. So far, there has been a total of 204 probable cases and 17 probable deaths, the state health agency reported.
As of yesterday, a total of 587,567 tests have been conducted in the state. The total number of individual test results reported to DHEC yesterday statewide was 8,643 (not including antibody tests) and the percent positive was 21.3%.
The latest recovery data provided by DHEC shows 92% of 25,923 individuals, who the department has onset data on, have recovered from COVID-19 while 8% remain ill.
The following is a breakdown provided by DHEC of total positive cases and total deaths in Lowcountry counties.
Fifty-five of the deaths reported on Thursday occurred in elderly individuals from Anderson (1), Beaufort (3), Charleston (11), Chester (1), Chesterfield (1), Colleton (3), Darlington (1), Dillon (2), Florence (1), Georgetown (1), Greenville (13), Greenwood (1), Horry (4), Kershaw (1), Lancaster (1), Lexington (3), Orangeburg (1), Pickens (1), Richland (3), Spartanburg (1), and Williamsburg (1) counties; and 14 of the deaths occurred in middle-aged individuals from Berkeley (2), Charleston (1), Greenville (3), Greenwood (1), Lexington (2), Orangeburg (3), Pickens (1), and Richland (1) counties.
The number of new cases reported on Thursday, July 16 by county are listed below:
Confirmed cases by county: Abbeville (5), Aiken (32), Allendale (9), Anderson (66), Bamberg (16), Barnwell (13), Beaufort (108), Berkeley (67), Calhoun (18), Charleston (230), Cherokee (4), Chester (16), Chesterfield (11), Clarendon (9), Colleton (13), Darlington (16), Dillon (9), Dorchester (64), Edgefield (3), Fairfield (23), Florence (58), Georgetown (23), Greenville (230), Greenwood (17), Hampton (10), Horry (142), Jasper (16), Kershaw (14), Lancaster (25), Laurens (18), Lee (7), Lexington (58), Marion (6), McCormick (7), Newberry (18), Oconee (16), Orangeburg (80), Pickens (27), Richland (125), Saluda (1), Spartanburg (90), Sumter (30), Union (4), Williamsburg (13), York (75)
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