More than 253,000 South Carolinaians tested positive for COVID-19, and state experts are monitoring an increasing spread across the area.
As of Sunday, 253,034 residents of the state of Palmetto have contracted the new coronavirus, and the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control has identified more than 20,000 unconfirmed cases. More than 18,500 of these cases were announced last week.
Since March, more than 3.28 million tests have been performed on residents of the state, according to DHEC. But the percentage of tests that tested positive is still high – more than 22%, on average, in the past seven days.
New cases reported: 2,583, which is about 1,700 percent higher than the 158 registered on March 31, the day Governor Henry McMaster ordered the closure of non-essential deals.
Total cases in SC: 253,034, plus 20,372 probable cases
New deaths reported: 36
Total deaths in SC: 4,566 confirmed, 369 probable
Total tests in SC: 3,318,220
Hospitalized patients: 1,471
Percentage of positive tests, average of 7 days: 22.4 percent. Five percent or less of the tests with positive results is a good sign that the spread of the virus is slowing, say the researchers.
Most affected areas
South Carolina’s top counties for new coronavirus cases reported on Sunday were Greenville, 506; Spartanburg, 382; and Richland, 142.
What about the tri-county?
Charleston County had 86 new cases; Berkeley, 40; and Dorchester, 75.
Seven of the 36 deaths reported on Sunday were from patients aged 35 to 64, and the rest were 65 or older.
They lived in Aiken, Greenville, Horry, Lancaster, Laurens, Lexington, Oconee and Orangeburg counties.
Of the 1,471 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 on Sunday, 313 were in intensive care and 159 were on ventilators.
What do the experts say?
The authorities continue to urge Southern Carolinians to take precautions such as the use of masks or other facial coverings, social distance and frequent hand washing.
They also recommend that anyone who believes they have been exposed to the virus or who are developing symptoms get tested. Those who live in the community or cannot socially distance themselves should be tested monthly, DHEC advised.
Go to scdhec.gov/findatest to find a test site in your area.
Reach Thomas Novelly at 843-937-5713. Follow him @TomNovelly on Twitter.