South Carolina’s public health officials continued to report high numbers of new coronavirus cases on Monday, though not at the record-setting levels seen during the weekend.
On Friday and Saturday, the state exceeded 3,000 new cases each day, the highest numbers reported by the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control since the pandemic struck the state in March.
For Monday’s report, out of 11,633 tests conducted for the virus, 20.3 percent returned a positive result.
New cases reported: 2,364, which is 1,396 percent higher than the 158 tallied on March 31, the day Gov. Henry McMaster ordered nonessential businesses to close.
Total cases in S.C.: 236,785, plus 17,991 probable cases
New deaths reported: 11
Total deaths in S.C.: 4,398 confirmed, 353 probable
Total tests in S.C.: 3,126,016
Hospitalized patients: 1,276
Percent of positive tests, seven-day average: 20.6 percent. Five percent of tests or fewer returning positive results is a good sign the virus’ spread is slowing, researchers say.
The top South Carolina counties for new coronavirus cases reported Monday were Greenville, 414; Spartanburg, 240; and Lexington, 151.
What about the tri-county?
Charleston County had 49 new cases; Berkeley, 23; and Dorchester, 33.
Of the 11 new deaths, one was a young adult patient aged 18 to 34, while two were middle-aged patients aged 35 to 64 years old. The rest were elderly patients aged 65 or older.
They lived in Chester, Fairfield, Florence, Greenville, Lexington, Orangeburg, Spartanburg, Sumter and York counties.
Of the 1,276 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 on Monday, 307 were in intensive care and 140 were on ventilators.
What do experts say?
Authorities continue to urge South Carolinians to take precautions such as wearing masks or other face coverings, social distancing and frequently washing hands.
They also urge anyone who believes they’ve been exposed to the virus or who is developing symptoms to get tested. Those out in the community or not able to socially distance should get tested monthly, DHEC advised.
Go to scdhec.gov/findatest to find a testing site in your area.
Reach Fleming Smith at 843-937-5591. Follow her on Twitter at @MFlemingSmith.