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News Releases

South Carolina Announces Latest COVID-19 Update (May 9, 2020)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
May 9, 2020

 

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) today announced 168 new cases of the novel coronavirus COVID-19, and 10 additional deaths.

This brings the total number of people confirmed to have COVID-19 in South Carolina to 7,531 and those who have died to 330.

Eight deaths occurred in elderly individuals in Charleston (1), Clarendon (1), Greenville (1), Lexington (2), Richland (2), and Williamsburg (1) counties, and two deaths occurred in middle-aged individuals in Berkeley (1) and Fairfield (1) counties.

The number of new cases by county are listed below.
Aiken (4), Anderson (4), Bamberg (1), Barnwell (1), Berkeley (1), Calhoun (1), Charleston (3), Chesterfield (3), Clarendon (4), Darlington (2), Dillon (3), Edgefield (2), Fairfield (4), Florence (13), Georgetown (1), Greenville (43), Horry (5), Jasper (2), Kershaw (3), Lancaster (2), Lee (7), Lexington (9), Marion (3), Oconee (1), Pickens (4), Richland (28), Saluda (2), Spartanburg (4), Sumter (5), York (3)

DHEC’s COVID-19 webpage is updated daily with a map of positive cases as well as the most current recommendations for protecting against COVID-19. In addition, the agency today launched a new interactive 14 day heat map to display the most recently reported cases and estimated current burden during the past 14-days. The cumulative heat map shows all historic reported cases of COVID-19.

Expanded Testing to Senior Housing Facilities in Columbia
In collaboration with the City of Columbia and Richland County Emergency Management, DHEC has started an effort to test residents who live in senior housing facilities in Columbia for COVID-19. The free testing campaign kicked off on May 8 with testing at Christopher Towers. Nearly 80 residents were tested for COVID-19 and DHEC is planning a return trip to test more of the facility’s residents in the near future. Find photos of the free testing clinic on DHEC's Twitter and Facebook accounts.

Expanding Testing to Rural Communities
DHEC hosted two testing clinics today in Greenville and Hopkins from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The screening and specimen collection was free for residents and is part of DHEC’s ongoing efforts to increase testing in underserved and rural communities across the state. Today the agency launched a new COVID-19 mobile testing clinic webpage to share information about upcoming testing events.

Contact Tracing
DHEC launched a contact tracing webpage that describes how this activity is a key strategy in the fight against COVID-19. The webpage answers frequently asked questions about contact tracing, and, for those interested in joining DHEC’s Contact Tracing team, individuals are able to submit a form to receive additional information. The agency has received 269 contact tracing form submissions. 

Percent Positive Test Trends Among Reported COVID-19 Cases
As South Carolina increases testing, there will likely be more laboratory-confirmed cases. DHEC today released new graphs showing trends in the percent of cases of COVID-19 relative to the number of tests performed during the last 28 and 14 days, respectively. The calculation is a result of the number of positive tests reported in a day (for yesterday, 168) divided by the total number of tests performed on that same day by both DHEC’s laboratory and private laboratories (for yesterday, 2,512), then multiplied by 100 to get the percent positive (6.7% yesterday).

When the percent positive is high, it may indicate that there isn't enough testing being performed to capture how much disease is in the community and testing may be focused on people who are more severely ill.

When the percent positive is low, it may indicate that more widespread testing is being performed and the percent positive may more accurately reflect how much disease is present in the community.

Hospital Bed Capacity
As of this morning, 3,482 inpatient hospital beds are available and 6,514 are in use, which is a 65.17% statewide hospital bed utilization rate. Of the 6,514 inpatient beds currently used, 461 are occupied by patients who have either tested positive or are under investigation for COVID-19.

Testing in South Carolina
As of May 8, DHEC’s Public Health Laboratory has conducted 20,337 tests for COVID-19. Of these tests, 2,664 were positive and 17,673 were negative. A total of 80,963 total tests by both DHEC’s Public Health Laboratory and private labs have been conducted in the state. DHEC’s Public Health Laboratory is operating extended hours and is testing specimens seven days a week. The Public Health Laboratory’s current timeframe for providing results to health care providers is 24-48 hours.

Cases by County and ZIP Code
DHEC’s interactive maps were updated to include the latest confirmed and estimated COVID-19 cases by county and ZIP code. The estimated cases represent possible cases based on evidence that for every known case of COVID-19, there could be up to 9 people with the virus who remain unidentified in the community. By including estimates, we hope to better convey the risk of disease spread within our communities.

*As new information is provided to the department, some changes in cases may occur. Cases are reported based on the person’s county of residence, as it is provided to the department. DHEC’s COVID-19 map will adjust to reflect any reclassified cases.

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