COVID-19

The COVID-19 virus.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control on Thursday announced 1,636 new confirmed cases and 20 new probable cases of the novel coronavirus COVID-19, 48 additional confirmed deaths and 8 new probable deaths.

Of the 1,636 cases statewide, the Pee Dee accounted for 239 of them. Florence County reported 116 cases while Darlington County reported 48 cases, Williamsburg County 26 cases, Dillon County 15 cases, Marion County 13 cases and Marlboro County 10 cases.

Florence and Williamsburg counties reported three deaths each while Dillon County reported two deaths.

This brings the total number of confirmed cases to 87,117 probable cases to 455, confirmed deaths to 1,599, and 72 probable deaths.

As of Wednesday, a total of 745,198 tests have been conducted in the state. DHEC’s Public Health Laboratory is operating extended hours and is testing specimens seven days a week, and the Public Health Laboratory’s current timeframe for providing results to health care providers is 24-48 hours.

The total number of individual test results reported to DHEC yesterday statewide was 7,600 (not including antibody tests) and the percent positive was 21.5%.

Currently, there are 108 mobile testing events scheduled through September 29 with new testing events added regularly. Find a mobile testing clinic event near you at scdhec.gov/covid19mobileclinics.

Residents can visit scdhec.gov/covid19testing for information about getting tested at one of 214 permanent COVID-19 testing facilities across the state.

Since July 22, the federal government has required hospitals nationwide to report data directly to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services through a new TeleTracking system, which replaces the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s National Healthcare Safety Network system that had been used by hospitals for reporting data throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Currently, the TeleTracking system asks hospitals to report all of their available beds as one total number, not broken down by bed type as the NHSN system had. Therefore, hospitals’ total number of beds reported includes pediatric beds, neonatal intensive care unit (ICU) bassinets, psychiatric beds, labor and delivery beds, rehabilitation beds and others.

As a practical matter, not all of these bed types could be used for caring for adult patients hospitalized with COVID-19, or other medical issues.

DHEC is working with the S.C. Hospital Association to create a new process for gathering inpatient bed availability and occupancy from each hospital in the state, as this is the reporting metric that best provides the number of hospital beds available for caring for adult COVID-19 patients.

South Carolina, along with multiple other states, are also working in close coordination with federal partners to improve the new TeleTracking system’s reporting structure in order to provide the most accurate and actionable data possible.

ICU beds: 1,440 total; 273 available; 1,167 in use (81.04% utilization rate)

COVID-19 patients hospitalized: 1,563; 389 in ICU; 245 ventilated

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