COVID-19

The COVID-19 virus

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control on Saturday announced 1,491 new confirmed cases and seven new probable cases of the novel coronavirus COVID-19, 35 additional confirmed deaths and four probable deaths.

The percentage of people who test positive for the virus remains near 20%.

The Pee Dee accounted for 186 confirmed cases with Florence County reporting 83, Darlington County 35, Williamsburg County 34, Chesterfield County 15, Dillon County 11, Marlboro County five and Marion County three.

The Pee Dee reported five deaths, three in Florence County and two in Williamsburg County.

This brings the total number of confirmed cases to 90,076 probable cases to 523, confirmed deaths to 1,683, and 68 probable deaths.

Williamsburg County has the third-highest per-capita rate of total infections with 2.96 per 1,000 residents. Florence County ranks 10th in the state with 2.12 total cases per 1,000.

Residents 21-30 years old account for the greatest number of reported cases in the state, 21 percent, followed closely by 31-40 year olds, 41-50-year-olds and 51-60-year-olds with 16%, 15% and 14% respectively.

Whites are 44 percent of the reported cases of COVID-19 while African-Americans are 34 percent of cases.

White residents account for 50% of reported deaths and African Americans 40 percent — a significantly higher rate of death compared to the 27 percent of the state's population that African Americans make up.

As of Friday, a total of 755,034 tests have been conducted in the state. See a detailed breakdown of tests in South Carolina on the Data and Projections webpage. 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 Friday statewide was 8,075 (not including antibody tests) and the percent positive was 18.5%.

Currently, there are 138 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 215 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.

As we continue to refine hospital bed data, with the TeleTracking system now implemented by South Carolina hospitals, DHEC is able to resume reporting of the following key information:

  • ICU beds: 1,459 total; 326 available; 1,133 in use (77.66% utilization rate)
  • COVID-19 patients hospitalized: 1,453; 359 in ICU; 235 ventilated

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