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South Carolina Announces Latest COVID-19 Update (July 29, 2020)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
July 29, 2020

 

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) today announced 1,666 new confirmed cases and 5 new probable cases of the novel coronavirus COVID-19, 48 additional confirmed deaths and 4 new probable deaths.

This brings the total number of confirmed cases to 85,423 probable cases to 423, confirmed deaths to 1,551, and 64 probable deaths.

Confirmed and probable cases: please click here.
Confirmed and probable deaths: please click here.

Testing in South Carolina
As of yesterday, a total of 734,149 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
The total number of individual test results reported to DHEC yesterday statewide was 8,360 (not including antibody tests) and the percent positive was 19.9%.

More Than 100 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 105 mobile testing events scheduled through August 31 with new testing events added regularly. Find a mobile testing clinic event near you at scdhec.gov/covid19mobileclinics.

Residents can visit scdhec.gov/covid19testing for information about getting tested at one of 214 permanent COVID-19 testing facilities across the state.

Hospital Bed Occupancy
Since July 22, the federal government has required hospitals nationwide to report data directly to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services through a new TeleTracking system, which replaces the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s National Healthcare Safety Network system that had been used by hospitals for reporting data throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently, the TeleTracking system asks hospitals to report all of their available beds as one total number, not broken down by bed type as the NHSN system had. Therefore, hospitals’ total number of beds reported includes pediatric beds, neonatal intensive care unit (ICU) bassinets, psychiatric beds, labor and delivery beds, rehabilitation beds and others. As a practical matter, not all of these bed types could be used for caring for adult patients hospitalized with COVID-19, or other medical issues.

DHEC is working with the S.C. Hospital Association to create a new process for gathering inpatient bed availability and occupancy from each hospital in the state, as this is the reporting metric that best provides the number of hospital beds available for caring for adult COVID-19 patients.

South Carolina, along with multiple other states, are also working in close coordination with federal partners to improve the new TeleTracking system’s reporting structure in order to provide the most accurate and actionable data possible.

As we continue to refine hospital bed data, with the TeleTracking system now implemented by South Carolina hospitals, DHEC is able to resume reporting of the following key information:

  • ICU beds: 1,451 total; 299 available; 1,152 in use (79.39%% utilization rate)
  • COVID-19 patients hospitalized: 1,596; 404 in ICU; 242 ventilated

For the latest information related to COVID-19 visit scdhec.gov/COVID-19. Visit scdmh.net for stress, anxiety and mental health resources from the S.C. Department of Mental Health.

*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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