South Carolina Announces Latest COVID-19 Update (July 21, 2020)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
July 21, 2020
COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) today announced 1,870 new confirmed cases and one new probable case of the novel coronavirus COVID-19, 56 additional confirmed deaths and one new probable death.
This brings the total number of confirmed cases to 73,101, probable cases to 236, confirmed deaths to 1,203 and 18 probable deaths.
While hospitals work to transition to a new federal reporting system, DHEC is using the state’s Bed Availability Report Tracking (BART) to maintain surveillance of hospital capacity and usage until the federal TeleTracking system is fully implemented and used by hospitals statewide. Please see the Hospital Bed Occupancy section for additional information.
Confirmed cases: Abbeville (5), Aiken (10), Allendale (5), Anderson (64), Bamberg (10), Barnwell (8), Beaufort (61), Berkeley (61), Calhoun (5), Charleston (163), Cherokee (14), Chester (11), Chesterfield (16), Clarendon (14), Colleton (20), Darlington (38), Dillon (14), Dorchester (53), Edgefield (5), Fairfield (18), Florence (67), Georgetown (37), Greenville (147), Greenwood (31), Hampton (25), Horry (181), Jasper (22), Kershaw (33), Lancaster (22), Laurens (21), Lee (6), Lexington (110), Marion (13), Marlboro (7), McCormick (4), Newberry (13), Oconee (7), Orangeburg (40), Pickens (39), Richland (193), Saluda (10), Spartanburg (55), Sumter (93), Union (19), Williamsburg (6), York (74)
Probable cases: Charleston (1)
Please click here for the county of residence and age group of the 57 individuals whose deaths are reported today.
Testing in South Carolina
As of yesterday, a total of 648,663 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.
Percent Positive Test Trends among Reported COVID-19 Cases
The total number of individual test results reported to DHEC yesterday statewide was 8,490 (not including antibody tests) and the percent positive was 22%.
Nearly 90 Mobile Testing Clinics Scheduled Statewide
As part of our ongoing efforts to increase testing in underserved and rural communities across the state, DHEC is working with community partners to set up mobile testing clinics that bring testing to these communities. Currently, there are 88 mobile testing events scheduled through August 15 with new testing events added regularly. Find a mobile testing clinic event near you at scdhec.gov/covid19mobileclinics.
Residents can also get tested at one of 182 permanent COVID-19 testing facilities across the state. Visit scdhec.gov/covid19testing for more information.
Hospital Bed Occupancy
Per federal requirements, hospitals are actively transitioning between the systems used for reporting hospital bed and ICU occupancy, ventilator usage, patients hospitalized with COVID-19 and other key information. DHEC issued a Public Health Order supporting this transition on July 15, the day after the announcement was made that hospitals will transition from using the CDC's National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) to the TeleTracking system.
While hospitals across the state work to implement the new federal reporting system, DHEC is able to report limited hospital bed occupancy information through the Bed Availability Report Tracking (BART) state database. BART doesn't provide the same level of detail as the previously used NHSN system but allows DHEC to maintain surveillance of hospital capacity and usage until the TeleTracking system is fully implemented and used by hospitals statewide.
Based on information from BART, which is estimated to be accurate within 10%, as of yesterday, 9,598 hospital beds are in use (84% capacity) and 1,823 are available. Of those hospitalized, 1,593 are COVID-19 patients.
How South Carolinians Can Stop the Spread
Evidence is increasing about the high rates of infection in people who do not have symptoms and don’t know they are infectious. This places everyone at risk of getting the virus or unknowingly transmitting it to someone else. Steps we can take to protect ourselves and others include:
- Practicing social distancing
- Wearing a mask in public
- Avoiding group gatherings
- Regularly washing your hands
- Staying home if sick
*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.