SCDHEC Update – July 22, 2020

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On Wednesday (July 22) the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) reported 1,654 new confirmed cases and one new probable case of the COVID-19. Anderson County had 32 new cases. Greenville County had 103 new cases.

There were 39 additional confirmed deaths and 26 new probable deaths reported. This brings the total number of confirmed deaths in the state to 1,203, and 25 probable deaths.

Confirmed new cases by county: Abbeville (5), Aiken (35), Allendale (3), Anderson (32), Bamberg (6), Barnwell (5), Beaufort (84), Berkeley (71), Calhoun (6), Charleston (190), Cherokee (16), Chester (19), Chesterfield (15), Clarendon (14), Colleton (24), Darlington (32), Dillon (7), Dorchester (78), Edgefield (9), Fairfield (2), Florence (44), Georgetown (18), Greenville (103), Greenwood (8), Hampton (3), Horry (103), Jasper (17), Kershaw (17), Lancaster (28), Laurens (38), Lee (6), Lexington (89), Marion (7), Marlboro (4), Newberry (41), Oconee (8), Orangeburg (48), Pickens (14), Richland (173), Saluda (3), Spartanburg (86), Sumter (68), Union (14), Williamsburg (6), York (55)

Probable: Aiken (2), Calhoun (1), Charleston (3), Cherokee (3), Clarendon (1), Dorchester (3), Florence (1), Greenwood (2), Jasper (1), Laurens (4), Lexington (1), Orangeburg (1), Richland (2)

As of yesterday, a total of 659,541 tests have been conducted in the state. See a detailed breakdown of tests in South Carolina on the Data and Projections webpage. DHEC’s Public Health Laboratory is operating extended hours and is testing specimens seven days a week, and the Public Health Laboratory’s current timeframe for providing results to health care providers is 24-48 hours.

The total number of individual test results reported to DHEC yesterday statewide was 8,574 (not including antibody tests) and the percent positive was 19.3%.

As part of our ongoing efforts to increase testing in underserved and rural communities across the state, DHEC is working with community partners to set up mobile testing clinics that bring testing to these communities. Currently, there are 74 mobile testing events scheduled through August 15 with new testing events added regularly. Find a mobile testing clinic event near you at scdhec.gov/covid19mobileclinics.

Residents can also get tested at one of 182 permanent COVID-19 testing facilities across the state. Visit scdhec.gov/covid19testing for more information.

Hospital Bed Occupancy
Per federal requirements, hospitals are actively transitioning between the systems used for reporting hospital bed and ICU occupancy, ventilator usage, patients hospitalized with COVID-19 and other key information. DHEC issued a Public Health Order supporting this transition on July 15, the day after the announcement was made that hospitals will transition from using the CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) to the TeleTracking system.

While hospitals across the state work to implement the new federal reporting system, DHEC is able to report limited hospital bed occupancy information through the Bed Availability Report Tracking (BART) state database. BART doesn’t provide the same level of detail as the previously used NHSN system but allows DHEC to maintain surveillance of hospital occupancy and usage until the TeleTracking system is fully implemented and used by hospitals statewide.

Based on information from BART, which is estimated to be accurate within 10%, as of yesterday, 9,961 hospital beds are in use (86.7% occupancy) and 1,522 are available. Of those hospitalized,1,607 are COVID-19 patients.

How South Carolinians Can Stop the Spread
Evidence is increasing about the high rates of infection in people who do not have symptoms and don’t know they are infectious. This places everyone at risk of getting the virus or unknowingly transmitting it to someone else. Steps we can take to protect ourselves and others include:

Practicing social distancing
Wearing a mask in public
Avoiding group gatherings
Regularly washing your hands
Staying home if sick
For the latest information related to COVID-19 visit scdhec.gov/COVID-19. Visit scdmh.net for stress, anxiety and mental health resources from the S.C. Department of Mental Health.