SCDHEC not reporting COVID-19 information as they have in past

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On Monday (Aug. 3) the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) reported 1,105 new confirmed cases and 9 new probable cases of the novel coronavirus COVID-19. DHEC also reported 11 additional confirmed deaths and 7 new probable deaths.

This brings the total number of confirmed deaths to 1,721, and 72 probable deaths.

DHEC is currently not reporting daily COVID-19 related deaths and cases for the state or by county as they have in the past. Other information is also being made available in a different format.

On Monday, DHEC reported the following key information:

ICU beds: 1,437 total; 316 available; 1,121 in use (78.01% utilization rate)
COVID-19 patients hospitalized: 1,401; 366 in ICU; 224 ventilated

Since July 22, the federal government has required hospitals nationwide to report data directly to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services through a new TeleTracking system, which replaces the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s National Healthcare Safety Network system that had been used by hospitals for reporting data throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently, the TeleTracking system asks hospitals to report all of their available beds as one total number, not broken down by bed type as the NHSN system had.

Therefore, hospitals’ total number of beds reported includes pediatric beds, neonatal intensive care unit (ICU) bassinets, psychiatric beds, labor and delivery beds, rehabilitation beds and others. As a practical matter, not all of these bed types could be used for caring for adult patients hospitalized with COVID-19, or other medical issues.

DHEC is working with the S.C. Hospital Association to create a new process for gathering inpatient bed availability and occupancy from each hospital in the state, as this is the reporting metric that best provides the number of hospital beds available for caring for adult COVID-19 patients. DHEC plans to have a more defined reporting system in place in the coming days.

 

The total number of individual test results reported to DHEC Sunday statewide was 7,257 (not including antibody tests) and the percent positive was 15.2%.

As part of 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 133 mobile testing events scheduled through September 29 with new testing events added regularly. Find a mobile testing clinic event near you at scdhec.gov/covid19mobileclinics.

Residents can visit scdhec.gov/covid19testing for information about getting tested at one of 215 permanent COVID-19 testing facilities across the state.