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Number of people who say they've been impacted by COVID-19 lockdowns exceeds COVID-19 cases by nearly 75,000
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Number of people who say they've been impacted by COVID-19 lockdowns exceeds COVID-19 cases by nearly 75,000

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FLORENCE, S.C. – Nearly 75,000 more people say they have had their employment impacted by the government-mandated lockdowns to slow the spread of COVID-19 than have had the virus in South Carolina.

The South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce recently provided data indicating that the number of initial claims filed from March 15, 2020 to Sept. 18 is 926,555.

Initial claims are made by people seeking benefits for the first time. Claims made people who have previously sought benefits are tracked separately and not included in the data provided by the department.

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control reported Tuesday that, as of 11:59 p.m., Sunday, there were a total of 685,360 confirmed cases and 166,646 probable cases of COVID-19 in the state.

Assuming that every probable case is confirmed, the number of confirmed and probable cases combined would equal 852,006 total cases.

The difference between the number of initial claims filed from March 15, 2020 to Sept. 18 and the number of total possible COVID-19 cases is 74,549.

The data provided by both departments also indicates that the number of initial claims made during the week of Sept. 14 to 18 is nearly as large as the number of people currently hospitalized who have tested positive for COVID-19.

According to the employment and workforce data, 1,597 people made initial claims during the week compared to the 2,070 people currently hospitalized who have tested positive for the virus according to health and environmental control data.

The health and environmental control data does not distinguish between patients who have been admitted for COVID-19 or related issues and those patients who have been admitted for another reason and then tested positive for the virus.

A recent article in the Atlantic cites three studies – two by two California doctors examining pediatric admission records at two hospitals and one by doctors examining nationwide admissions at Veterans Affairs hospitals – that indicate the number of patients admitted for reasons other than COVID-19 who then tested positive for the virus could be between 36% and 45% of COVID-19 hospital admissions.

The department of health and environmental control data also indicates that the percentage of hospital patients who have tested positive for the virus is 22.25% (2,070 divided by the 9,302 occupied hospital beds).

And that the percentage of COVID-19 positive patients in intensive care units is 25.6% (530 COVID-19 positive intensive care unit patients divided by 2,070 COVID-19 positive patients).

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Government and Politics Reporter

I cover the city of Florence, the county of Florence, the state legislative delegation of Florence County and surrounding areas, and the federal delegation representing the Pee Dee for the Morning News.

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