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South Carolina passes 1,000 total virus deaths, 69 more reported

1,053 people have now died from the virus in South Carolina, health officials say.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — State health officials say the number of deaths from coronavirus in South Carolina now has passed 1,000, as the state saw a one-day record with 69 deaths reported. However, they were quick to add that many of the new deaths occurred over the past few weeks.

The state also reported a new all-time high in hospital bed use for COVID-19 patients.

DHEC says the delay in reporting of an individual’s death during this pandemic is often attributed to ensuring the death is accurately reported based on the most up-to-date federal guidance for determining a COVID-19-related death. A cause of death is determined by a medical certifier or a coroner. DHEC announced in late April they implemented a cross analysis methodology to ensure an individual’s death is accurately reported. This includes comparing the initial information reported to the agency to the information included on an individual’s official death certificate.

Additionally, DHEC says the report of an individual’s cause of death may be delayed if the individual had numerous medical issues or it takes longer to collect the personal demographic information from the family.

To clearly provide the actual dates of COVID-19-related deaths, DHEC is now publishing a COVID-19 Deaths in South Carolina by Date of Death graph on its Testing and Projections webpage. This new data visualization provides the date of COVID-19-related deaths announced for that current day as well as the dates the deaths occurred.

The below graphic show some of that discrepancy. The newly reported deaths on Thursday actually took place on the following days: June 26 (1), July 3 (1), July 7 (1), July 8 (1), July 9 (4), July 10 (5), July 11(8), July 12 (9), July 13 (19), July 14 (18), July 15 (4).  The area shaded in green shows that. 

Credit: SCDHEC

Rest of the Coronavirus Daily Numbers for July 16

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) Thursday announced 1,842 new confirmed cases and four new probable cases of the novel coronavirus COVID-19, 69 additional confirmed deaths and three new probable deaths. 

This brings the total number of confirmed cases to 63,880, probable cases to 204, confirmed deaths to 1,053 and 17 probable deaths.

There are currently 1,578 hospital beds occupied by patients who have either tested positive or are under investigation for COVID-19 (a new record), and 214 of those patients are currently on ventilators.

Fifty-five of the deaths occurred in elderly individuals from Anderson (1), Beaufort (3), Charleston (11), Chester (1), Chesterfield (1), Colleton (3), Darlington (1), Dillon (2), Florence (1), Georgetown (1), Greenville (13), Greenwood (1), Horry (4), Kershaw (1), Lancaster (1), Lexington (3), Orangeburg (1), Pickens (1), Richland (3), Spartanburg (1), and Williamsburg (1) counties; and 14 of the deaths occurred in middle-aged individuals from Berkeley (2), Charleston (1), Greenville (3), Greenwood (1), Lexington (2), Orangeburg (3), Pickens (1), and Richland (1) counties.

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The three probable deaths occurred in elderly individuals from Abbeville (1) and Spartanburg (1) counties, one individual whose age is being confirmed from Saluda County (1).

Confirmed cases by county: Abbeville (5), Aiken (32), Allendale (9), Anderson (66), Bamberg (16), Barnwell (13), Beaufort (108), Berkeley (67), Calhoun (18), Charleston (230), Cherokee (4), Chester (16), Chesterfield (11), Clarendon (9), Colleton (13), Darlington (16), Dillon (9), Dorchester (64), Edgefield (3), Fairfield (23), Florence (58), Georgetown (23), Greenville (230), Greenwood (17), Hampton (10), Horry (142), Jasper (16), Kershaw (14), Lancaster (25), Laurens (18), Lee (7), Lexington (58), Marion (6), McCormick (7), Newberry (18), Oconee (16), Orangeburg (80), Pickens (27), Richland (125), Saluda (1), Spartanburg (90), Sumter (30), Union (4), Williamsburg (13), York (75)

Probable cases by county: Abbeville (1), Aiken (1), Saluda (1), Spartanburg (1)

Testing in South Carolina
As of Wednesday, a total of 587,567 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 Wednesday statewide was 8,643 (not including antibody tests) and the percent positive was 21.3%.

Nearly 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 97 mobile testing events scheduled through August 5 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 180 permanent COVID-19 testing facilities across the state. Visit scdhec.gov/covid19testing for more information.

Hospital Bed Occupancy
As of Thursday morning, 2,946 inpatient hospital beds are available and 7,935 are in use, which is a 72.93% statewide hospital bed utilization rate. Of the 7,935 inpatient beds currently used, 1,578 are occupied by patients who have either tested positive or are under investigation for COVID-19.

*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.