| Greenville News
As state health officials prepare for a winter surge, coronavirus cases are increasing again across the state, setting a three-day record of almost 8,000 cases over the weekend.
This represents a gloomy new milestone since July 19, when the state Department of Health and Environmental Control reported more than 2,000 cases in a single day.
Health officials have repeatedly warned of a sudden increase in winter, saying the holidays and the flu season can overwhelm hospitals.
“Our state’s hospital systems are becoming increasingly overwhelmed in caring for all those who suffer severely from this deadly virus,” DHEC officials said in an emailed statement on Friday. “Nationally, case counts, positive percentages, hospitalizations, ventilator patients and deaths are approaching or exceeding previous spring and summer highs. It is clear that our state and nation are at a crucial point in this pandemic.”
On Sunday, the State Department of Health and Environmental Control registered 2,538 new cases and 43 new deaths. The department also reported 51 new probable cases of COVID-19.
Saturday listed 2,715 new cases and 19 new deaths, but it was Friday’s record of 2,470 new cases and 29 new deaths that marked South Carolina’s first time to exceed 2,000 confirmed cases in a single day since July 19.
The week from November 29 to December 6 – the week after Thanksgiving – brought a total of 14,613 cases.
More: South Carolina reports a record number of COVID cases, as the interior of the state leads the increase
The state cumulative total is now 216,378 confirmed cases with 4,237 confirmed deaths.
The virus spread throughout the state during the summer, marking a peak on June 19, the first time that South Carolina topped 1,000 new cases, and July 19 with 2,335 new cases.
And with the turn of the seasons, the interior of the state consistently leads the state count.
Greenville County, the most populous of the state’s 46 counties, leads the state in coronavirus cases every day since November 6. Greenville was responsible for 441 new cases confirmed in the latest DHEC report, which came Friday. The municipality is responsible for 10.2% of the state’s population, according to the latest Census estimates, and was responsible for 16.24% of notified COVID-19 cases.
Spartanburg, which accounts for 6.2% of the state’s population, accounted for 6.7% of new cases with 182. Anderson, who accounts for 3.9% of the population, accounted for 4.68% of new cases (127) , and Pickens, who represents 2.5% of the population, responsible for 4.97% of new cases (135).
DHEC urged the public to continue taking preventive measures: wearing masks, social distance, limit contact for people outside your home, regular testing and compliance with quarantine and isolation guidelines as instructed.
Macon Atkinson covers the city of Greenville for The Greenville News. It is fed by strong coffee, long runs and good sunsets. You can find her on Twitter @maconatkinson.