DHEC Update Jan. 15 – More South Carolinians Getting Sick from COVID-19

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On Thursday (Jan. 14) DHEC reported 4,809 new cases and 136 probable cases of COVID-19. There were 18 confirmed deaths related to COVID and 5 probable deaths.
Anderson County reported 193 new cases so far this week.
Greenville County reported 794 new cases so far this week.
There were 18,115 test results reported with a positivity rate of 26.5%.
Across the state there were 2,427 COVID patients in hospitals with 4565 in ICU and 290 on ventilators.
Currently there are 9,537 hospital beds in use out of a total of 11,329.
There are 1440 ICU beds in use out of 1754. There are 744 ventilators in use out of a total of 948.

The case number increases come as South Carolina faces new records for the highest number of new total cases and highest positivity rate – reaching 5,077 new cases Wednesday, Jan. 6 and a positive rate of 34.2% Tuesday, Jan. 5.

During the first two weeks of 2021 alone, 45,210 South Carolinians were confirmed to be infected with COVID-19, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in South Carolina to 337,845, probable cases to 33,335, confirmed deaths to 5,420, and 514 probable deaths.

This is occurring as South Carolina, like other states across the nation, continues to also face an unprecedented increase in patient hospitalizations, causing a decrease in the availability of beds in our Emergency Departments, hospitals, intensive care units (ICU) and supply of ventilators.

Hospitals Bed and Ventilator Use Up

As of Thursday morning, acute care hospitals in South Carolina are nearing capacity and Emergency Departments are overwhelmed. Of the 11,329 inpatient beds currently being used for patient care, 2,427 are occupied by patients who have either tested positive or are under investigation for COVID-19. In addition, of the 1,754 ICU beds currently being used for patient care, 465 are occupied by COVID-19 patients. Meanwhile of the 1,948 available ventilators, 744 are in use and 290 of those are COVID-19 patients. Many hospitals in the state are now cancelling elective services to deal with the overwhelming increase in the number of patients.

South Carolinians Encouraged to Know Their Status; Get Tested Regularly

DHEC strongly encourages South Carolinians to get tested regularly in order to know their status for COVID-19 and take action. As part of its mitigation strategy, DHEC continues to work with community partners across the state to increase access to COVID-19 testing. To date, South Carolina has conducted more than 4.16 million COVID-19 tests, which includes results from over 2,074,355 distinct people (40% of the state’s population). In addition, more than 300 testing events are open today across the state.