According to the latest report from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC), Richland County has one of the highest COVID-19 percent positive rates in the state.

As of Monday, Richland County had a 22.1 percent positive rate, which counts for “the percentage of individuals who tested positive out of the number of individuals tested with a molecular (swab, or PCR) test in the last two weeks for each county,” according to SCDHEC.

This is important for parents and students in the Richland County School District One because the reopening plan requires that the percent positive rate drop to medium risk — or below 10 percent — before face-to-face learning is offered in the district.

According to SCDHEC, as of Monday, the counties with the highest percent positive rates are:

Anderson, 28.8%Saluda, 28.7Edgefield, 27%Sumter, 23.5%Richland, 22.5 %

See full SCDHEC report below:

Recent_Disease_Activity-8_24_2020

Richland County’s percent positive rate has shown progress, however. On August 10, Richland County showed a 25.9 percent positive rate, according to SCDHEC. On it had a 24.7 percent positive rate.

Richland County, the second most populous county in South Carolina, is by far the largest county among those with the highest percent positive rates. Greenville’s percent positive rate was at 10.3 on Monday, while Charleston County’s was at 13.8.

Statewide, the percent positive rate has been decreasing downward. Take a look at our chart showing the latest from SCDHEC:

(Via: Mandy Matney)

This month, South Carolina is averaging about a 15.9 percent positive rate, which is down compared to last month’s rate at 19.6.

According to Harvard Global Health Institute researchers, South Carolina needs to be below a 10 percent positive rate just to keep the virus contained at the same level and below a 3 percent positive rate to suppress the virus.

South Carolina’s COVID-19 testing efforts have been insufficient throughout the pandemic and state leaders have outlined a plan to dramatically increase SCDHEC’s COVID-19 testing goals to test 10 percent of the population— or 500,000 residents — every month.

Still, the state is showing signs of improvement. Here is our updated chart tracking tests and cases …

(Via: Mandy Matney)

For ten straight days, the state has reported less than 1,000 cases.

In August, South Carolina has averaged around 5,800 tests per day, far less compared to July when it averaged around 8,300 per day.

Hospitalizations have shown a positive trend as well. For the first time since June, SCDHEC reported less than 1,000 COVID-19 patients on Monday.

In the last two days, South Carolina reported less than 10 COVID-19 deaths, which hasn’t happened since July.

Take a look at our chart tracking daily deaths reported by SCDHEC:

(Via: Mandy Matney)

So far in August, South Carolina is averaging about 32 COVID-19 deaths per day.

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