SC health officials announce 64 new cases of COVID-19, and 4 more virus-related deaths

SC health officials announce 64 new cases of COVID-19, and 4 more virus-related deaths

By Ray Rivera | April 20, 2020 at 4: 37 PM EDT – Updated April 20 at 7: 39 PM

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) – South Carolina health officials have announced 64 new cases of COVID-19 and four additional virus-related deaths.

Monday’s update brings the total number of people confirmed to have COVID-19 in the state to 4,439, and those who have died to 124, according to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.

Dr. Linda Bell with DHEC announced on Monday afternoon that the curve on new cases may have begun to level in the state based on recent projections and modeling.

Bell cited a report by the University of Washington’s Institute for Public Health which indicated that South Carolina was estimated to have the most hospital bed use on April 16 and peak deaths on April 9 from COVID-19.

She also revealed a projection which showed that South Carolina may see 750 new cases per week by early May, and the total cases to grow to 6,953 by around May 9.

“Together these two projections indicate the curve may have begun to level for us here in South Carolina,” Bell said. “Modeling projections and data trends vary and they can still change very quickly.”

Bell said based on current data, state health officials are consistently seeing a plateau for cases.

However, she cautioned that the risk of transmission remains high for COVID-19.

“It will remain absolutely critical that everyone continues to perform the recommended activities to stop the spread,” she said. “So, as new activities are allowed, it’s very very important that people continue to practice all of the social distancing measures that have been in place and should remain in place.”

State health officials said current data shows that social distancing and staying at home is working against the spread of the virus.

Bell says those measures must continue for some time until DHEC has greater assurance that the state is on a downward side of the curve.

“Other steps we can all take to help stop the spread of the disease, and to keep the curve flattened and on a downward trend is to continue to practice social distancing,” she said.

Bell advised the public to wear a mask at all times in public when you may come in close contact with other people, disinfect frequently touched items, and regularly wash your hands.

New positive cases reported on Monday include 2 in Charleston County, 1 in Orangeburg County and 4 in Williamsburg County.

The deaths reported on Monday include an elderly individual with underlying health conditions from Lancaster County. One was an elderly individual, with no known underlying conditions, from Kershaw County.

“One was a middle-aged individual with underlying health conditions from Edgefield County, and one was a middle-aged individual, with no known underlying health conditions, from Clarendon County,” DHEC officials said.

As of Monday afternoon, there have been a total of 41,277 coronavirus tests with 36,838 testing negative and 4,439 testing positive.

Those totals originate from DHEC’s Public Health Laboratory and private labs in the state.

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

Beaufort County 225 6
Berkeley County 138 3
Charleston County 391 3
Colleton County 23 1
Dorchester County 83 1
Georgetown County 34 2
Orangeburg County 44 0
Williamsburg County 26 0

Currently, state health officials estimate there are a total of 31,707 total possible cases in the state. The estimate counts represent people who are potentially undiagnosed.

According to state health officials, estimated cases are calculated based on evidence that for every known case of COVID-19, there could be up to 9 people with the virus who remain unidentified in the community

As of Monday morning, 5,150 hospital beds are available and 6,201 are utilized, which is a 54.6% statewide hospital bed utilization rate, according to state health officials.

DHEC is continuing to encourage South Carolinians to stay home and minimize contact with people outside their home to prevent the spread of the disease.

Health officials also recommended the following steps that the public should be doing:

  • Monitoring for symptoms
  • Practicing social distancing
  • Avoiding touching frequently touched items
  • Regularly washing your hands

“Anyone with concerns about their health should reach out to their healthcare provider or use the telehealth services provided by several health care systems,” DHEC officials said.

The number of new cases reported on Monday, April 20 by county are listed below:

Aiken (1), Anderson (2), Barnwell (1), Beaufort (1), Charleston (2), Cherokee (1), Clarendon (8), Darlington (5), Dillon (2), Florence (4), Greenville (5), Horry (1), Kershaw (3), Lexington (4), Marlboro (1), Orangeburg (1), Richland (4), Spartanburg (7), Sumter (3), Williamsburg (4), York (4)

Copyright 2020 WCSC. All rights reserved.

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