172 new cases of COVID-19, and 9 additional deaths in South Carolina

172 new cases of COVID-19, and 9 additional deaths in South Carolina
The MUSC testing center located near the Citadel Mall. Picture taken on April 4 (Source: Live 5 News)

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Health officials have announced 172 new cases of COVID-19 and 9 more deaths in South Carolina.

Today’s update brings the total number of people confirmed to have COVID-19 in the state to 8,189, and those who have died to 371, according to the Department of Health and Environmental Control.

Deaths reported on Thursday include five elderly individuals in Fairfield (2), Greenwood (1), Laurens (1), and Lexington (1) counties, and four of the deaths occurred in a middle-aged individual in Clarendon (2), Pickens (1) and Richland (1) counties.

Currently, there have been a total of 102,535 coronavirus tests with 94,346 testing negative and 8,189 testing positive.

DHEC officials say 86% of patients have recovered from the virus while 14% remain ill.

The following is a breakdown of total positive cases and total deaths in Lowcountry counties.

Beaufort County 284 12
Berkeley County 199 15
Charleston County 491 10
Colleton County 33 4
Dorchester County 110 3
Georgetown County 51 3
Orangeburg County 108 2
Williamsburg County 158 9

The number of new cases reported on Thursday, May 14 by county are listed below:

Aiken (4), Anderson (10), Beaufort (2), Berkeley (1), Charleston (2), Chesterfield (5), Colleton (9), Darlington (4), Dillon (9), Dorchester (1), Fairfield (12), Florence (19), Greenville (16), Greenwood (1), Hampton (1), Horry (7), Lancaster (3), Laurens (3), Lee (1), Lexington (9), Marlboro (7), Oconee (2), Orangeburg (2), Pickens (1), Richland (14), Saluda (2), Spartanburg (4), Sumter (5), Williamsburg (8), York (8)

As of Thursday morning, DHEC officials said 3,301 inpatient hospital beds are available and 7,077 are in use, which is a 68.19% statewide hospital bed utilization rate.

“Of the 7,077 inpatient beds currently used, 443 are occupied by patients who have either tested positive or are under investigation for COVID-19,” DHEC said.

State health officials said they are working with community partners to provide COVID-19 testing across the state as part of the agency’s expansive statewide testing strategy.

“DHEC has partnered with Kroger Health and Harris Teeter to host eight free COVID-19 drive-thru testing clinics at the Charleston Convention Center, 5000 Coliseum Drive, North Charleston,” state health officials said.

These free clinics are by appointment only.

Individuals must first visit www.harristeeter.com/covidtesting to then schedule an appointment during one of the clinics, which are 10 a.m.-4 p.m. May 15, May 16, May 18, May 22, May 23, May 25, May 29 and May 30.

State health officials are continuing to provide information on how South Carolinians can protect themselves against exposure to the virus including staying home if sick and minimizing contact with people outside their households. 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 a 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.

Copyright 2020 WCSC. All rights reserved.