The COVID-19 virus

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control announced 156 new coronavirus cases Thursday and four additional deaths.

This brings the total number of people confirmed to have COVID-19 in South Carolina to 10,788 and those who have died to 470.

The deaths occurred in four elderly individuals from Chesterfield (1), Fairfield (1), Greenville (1), and York (1) counties.

Ten new cases were reported in Florence County, and two additional cases were reported in Darlington County.

The number of new cases by county:

Abbeville (2), Aiken (4), Anderson (3), Barnwell (1), Beaufort (5), Berkeley (3), Charleston (4), Chesterfield (2), Clarendon (1), Darlington (2), Dorchester (1), Edgefield (2), Florence (10), Greenville (20), Greenwood (17), Hampton (2), Horry (3), Kershaw (4), Laurens (3), Lee (2), Lancaster (2), Lexington (8), Marlboro (4), Newberry (2), Oconee (1), Orangeburg (1), Pickens (2), Richland (26), Saluda (2), Spartanburg (6), Sumter (2), Williamsburg (1), Union (1) and York (7).

As of Wednesday, a total of 187,788 total tests have been conducted in the state (by both DHEC’s Public Health Laboratory and private labs). DHEC’s Public Health Laboratory is operating extended hours and is testing specimens seven days a week. The Public Health Laboratory’s current timeframe for providing results to health care providers is 24 to 48 hours.

As South Carolina increases testing, there probably will be more laboratory-confirmed cases. The total number of tests performed Wednesday statewide was 5,994 and the percent positive was 2.6%. When the percent positive is low, it may indicate that more widespread testing is being performed and the percent positive might more accurately reflect how much disease is present in the community.

As of Thursday morning, 3,112 inpatient hospital beds were available and 7,250 were in use, which is a 69.97% statewide hospital bed utilization rate. Of the 7,250 inpatient beds currently used, 397 are occupied by patients who have either tested positive or are under investigation for COVID-19.

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