| USA TODAY NETWORK
New cases of coronavirus increased in South Carolina in the week ending Saturday, increasing 18.7% with 7,271 cases reported. The previous week had 6,127 new cases.
South Carolina ranked 32nd among the states where the coronavirus was spreading faster, shows an analysis by the USA TODAY network of Johns Hopkins University data. In the past week, the United States added 548,664 reported cases of coronavirus, an increase of 17% over the previous week. Across the country, 41 states had more cases in the last week than in the previous week.
In South Carolina, the worst weekly outbreaks per person occurred in Pickens, Abbeville and Newberry counties. Adding up the majority of new cases in general were Greenville County, with 1,012 cases; Spartanburg County, with 642 cases; and Richland County, with 541. The weekly case count increased by 30 counties from the previous week. The worst increases from the previous week’s pace were in Greenville, Anderson and Lexington counties.
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The proportion of South Carolina test results that tested positive was 5.9% in the last week, compared to 6.5% in the previous week, shows a USA TODAY Network analysis of the COVID Tracking Project data. In the last week, 122,966 tests were administered; a week earlier, that number was 94,033. Experts say it is important to look at the proportion of tests that tested positive, not just the case count, to get a better idea of whether the rate of new infections is changing or whether differences in tests are playing a role.
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The World Health Organization says that places should be testing sufficiently for less than 5% to return positive. Places where the percentage is higher may find it difficult to complete contact tracking soon enough to prevent the virus from spreading.
Across South Carolina, cases fell in 14 counties, with the biggest declines in Horry, Berkeley and Georgetown counties.
In the state, 142 people died in the past week. In the previous week, 156 people died.
A total of 176,612 people in South Carolina have tested positive for the coronavirus since the pandemic began, and 3,935 people have died from the disease, data from Johns Hopkins University show. In the United States, 9,125,482 people tested positive and 230,548 people died.