CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Health officials have announced 168 new cases of COVID-19 and 10 more deaths in South Carolina Saturday.
Today’s update brings the total number of people confirmed to have COVID-19 in the state to 7,531, and those who have died to 330.
Dr. Linda Bell with the Department of Health and Environmental Control spoke during a Friday afternoon press conference and said that the federal government has challenged all states to increase testing.
According to Bell, DHEC has a goal of testing 2% of South Carolina’s population, which is 110,000 South Carolinians per month beginning this month. DHEC officials say they have developed a statewide testing plan to dramatically increase testing.
“The testing expansion will also help us to better understand the overall disease activity within our state, and will allow us to make well-informed data-driven decisions as we work to establish normalcy,” Bell said.
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.
Officials with the Department of Health and Environmental Control estimate that 81% of patients have recovered from the virus while 19% remain ill.
As of Saturday evening, there have been a total of 80,963 coronavirus tests with 73,432 testing negative and 7,531 testing positive.
The following is a breakdown of total positive cases and total deaths in Lowcountry counties.
The number of new cases reported on Saturday, May 9 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)
State health officials are continuing to provide information on how South Carolinians can protect themselves against exposure to the virus.
According to health officials, 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,” DHEC said."South Carolinians are encouraged to stay home and minimize contact with people outside their households to prevent the spread of the disease."
Other steps the public should take include:
- Practicing social distancing
- Wearing a mask while out in public
- Avoiding touching frequently touched items
- Regularly washing your hands
- Monitoring for symptoms
Anyone with concerns about their health should reach out to their healthcare provider or use the telehealth services provided by several health care systems. For telehealth options and the latest information about DHEC’s COVID-19 response efforts, please visit scdhec.gov/COVID-19. Visit scdmh.net for stress, anxiety and mental health resources from the S.C. Department of Mental Health.