Beaufort Memorial seeing rise in COVID-19 positive tests

Beaufort Memorial seeing rise in COVID-19 positive tests

BEAUFORT, S.C. (WTOC) - According to the South Carolina Department of Health, Beaufort County has 1,186 positive cases per 100,000 residents.

COVID-19 numbers in Beaufort County are still on the rise and officials at Beaufort Memorial says so are positive testing rates.

“We were seeing about a 10 percent positive rate. Now over the last couple of months that has been steadily increasing so now we are seeing about 15 percent or so positive testing,” said Chief Medical Officer Dr. Kurt Gambla.

Beaufort Memorial says every patient being admitted to the hospital gets tested for COVID-19.

“We have 20 positive patients in we only have one under investigation.”

They say there are upsides

“So even though we are testing more positive and getting more positive cases, we are not seeing more and more of the very ill patients that have to come in and get admitted or incubated.”

The hospital feels confident the mask ordinance will have a positive effect.

“There is no question. If people comply with this it’s going to work. It’s going to save lives.”

They say data shows wearing the masks could save hundreds of lives.

“between now and October if we can get somewhere close to 95 percent compliance we will save over 200 lives in South Carolina.”

They add of the many studies that have been done, very few people have a medical reason to not wear a mask.

“There is close to zero evidence that there is any adverse effect for most patients. Very few patients that have underlying respiratory symptoms and that the wide majority of people have absolutely no health risks to wearing a mask even for prolonged periods of time.”

The hospital is taking its own precautions.

“It’s, only one person can go up and see her at a time,” said Jack Washington, a patient’s husband.

One patient’s husband said his entire family is taking precautions when visiting their loved one. But he says if everyone is wearing a mask in the hospital could let more people in to a room at a time.

“I mean we are following the rules and everything and I understand what the hospital is doing but I think that they could do just a little bit better.”

The hospital likely won’t change these guidelines any time soon.

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