COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCSC) - The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control reported a total of 2,470 newly-confirmed cases of COVID-19 Friday, the highest single-day total reported in the state since the pandemic began in mid-March.
According to a statement released by DHEC, Friday’s report of cases was the highest number of daily cases than at any time throughout the pandemic.
DHEC along with MUSC and the South Carolina Hospital Association said that they were compelled to address the seriousness of the state’s circumstances and the actions the public can take to change course.
“It’s clear that our state and nation are at a pivotal point in this pandemic,” DHEC officials said Friday afternoon. “We’re at a pivotal point in this pandemic. Together, we can take actions to change our course.”
Health officials stressed that the most effective means for stopping the virus was to wear a mask, social distance, limit contact with those outside of your household, routine testing, and adhering to quarantine or isolation guidelines, as directed.
DHEC officials said they also have increasing evidence that household spread is contributing to new cases.
“This is why it’s so important for anyone identified as having had close contact with COVID-19 to follow quarantine guidelines, even if you don’t feel ill,” health officials said. “Asymptomatic individuals are spreading the virus.”
Health officials also spoke on Friday about the “increasingly burdened” hospital system in the state in caring for those who are suffering severely from the virus.
Health officials point out that even though the anticipated arrival of vaccines brings hope and one step closer to ending the pandemic, the general public will not have access to vaccines for many more months.
“We must remain committed to the daily prevention methods that work,” DHEC officials said.
Health officials cited a recent study which found that face mask-wearing by just 75 percent of the U.S. population alone would flatten the projected incidence curve and reduce infections by 37 percent.
State officials said nationally, case counts, percent positivity, hospitalizations, patients on ventilators, and deaths are all approaching or surpassing previous highs from the spring and summer.
Friday’s DHEC report also showed 90 probable new cases, 29 confirmed deaths and one probable death in the state.
Two of the confirmed deaths were reported in the Lowcountry: one each in Charleston and Colleton Counties. Both cases involved an elderly patient.
It marked the 17th straight report in which the daily new case count exceeded 1,000 and a second day with percent-positive rate above 20%. That brings the total to 210,995 confirmed cases in the state, 15,018 probable cases; 4,175 confirmed deaths and 321 probable deaths.
A total of 2,805,516 COVID-19 tests have been performed for South Carolinians. Thursday’s report represented the results of 11,569 individual tests reported with an overall positive rate of 21.4%, down from Thursday’s 23.8% rate.
The most new cases were reported in the Upstate, with Greenville County reporting 410 newly-confirmed cases alone.
Here are the new cases by county:
Here are the deaths reported: