CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Health officials have announced 447 new cases of COVID-19 and 13 more deaths in South Carolina.
Friday’s update brings the total number of people confirmed to have COVID-19 in South Carolina to 13,453 and those who have died to 538, according to the Department of Health and Environmental Control.
The deaths included Eleven deaths occurred in elderly individuals from Clarendon (1), Greenville (1), Horry (1), Orangeburg (1), Richland (1), and Spartanburg (6) counties, and two deaths occurred in middle-aged individuals from Charleston (1) and Cherokee (1) counties.
DHEC’s current data shows that 85% of patients have recovered from the virus while 15% of patients are still ill.
As of Thursday morning, state health officials said 3,055 inpatient hospital beds are available and 7,337 are in use, which is a 70.60% statewide hospital bed utilization rate.
“Of the 7,337 inpatient beds currently used, 482 are occupied by patients who have either tested positive or are under investigation for COVID-19,” DHEC said.
The following is a breakdown provided by DHEC of total positive cases and total deaths in Lowcountry counties.
DHEC officials say they report positive cases and deaths based on county of residence as that information is provided, and that information could fluctuate if the case or death was found later to be from another area.
“Sometimes, during follow-up investigations, it’s determined an individual was the resident of another county or a different state,” state health officials said. “Our map is updated to reflect these changes.”
The number of new cases reported on Friday, June 5 by county are listed below:
Aiken (1), Anderson (4), Bamberg (3), Barnwell (2), Beaufort (11), Berkeley (3), Calhoun (1), Charleston (28), Chester (3), Chesterfield (15), Clarendon (3), Colleton (6), Darlington (3), Dillon (3), Dorchester (14), Edgefield (1), Fairfield (9), Florence (16), Georgetown (3), Greenville (77), Greenwood (1), Horry (30), Jasper (2), Kershaw (17), Lancaster (7), Laurens (1), Lee (2), Lexington (43), Marlboro (9), Newberry (4), Oconee (1), Orangeburg (15), Pickens (6), Richland (56), Saluda (2), Spartanburg (15), Sumter (11), Williamsburg (6), York (13).
As of Friday, a total of 238,808 tests have been conducted in the state (by both DHEC’s Public Health Laboratory and private labs).
State health officials said as restrictions are reduced by reopenings and South Carolinians return to their workplaces and participate in recreational activities that might involve crowds, DHEC continues to urge everyone to be vigilant in practicing social distancing and wearing masks to prevent the further spread of COVID-19.
This reminder comes amid public health experts’ concerns over the recent rise in COVID-19 data trends in South Carolina, according to a statement by DHEC.
“The more people you expose yourself to, the more you multiply your risk of being exposed to the virus,” said Dr. Linda Bell, state epidemiologist. “There are those who are finding ways to hold graduations and open businesses safely through careful planning and attention to crowd density and safety measures such as wearing masks. When we don’t do those things, we can put ourselves and others at risk, and case counts will rise.”
Health officials said as expected, part of the increase in COVID-19 cases is likely a result of increased testing efforts across the state.
“But other factors, including gatherings at which people fail to practice safety measures, could be in play as well,” DHEC officials said."There is still a significant risk of being exposed to the COVID-19 virus in a public setting in any community."
To reduce the spread, everyone should take following precautions:
- Maintain social distancing by staying at least 6 feet away from others
- Wear a cloth mask that covers your nose and mouth while in public
- Avoid touching frequently touched items
- Regularly wash your hands
- Monitor for symptoms and stay home when sick
“The more that South Carolinians take these necessary steps every day to reduce exposures, the more we can expect to see data trends begin to decrease, telling us that COVID-19 transmission is slowing across the state,” DHEC officials said.