South Carolina reported a lower number of daily coronavirus cases than those seen in recent weeks, but the confirmed deaths and hospitalizations related to the virus were higher Tuesday.
Despite the lower number of cases reported — it was under 1,000 — a high percentage of Monday’s tests still came back positive for COVID-19.
Fewer people were tested Monday as well, around 4,500, which is a few thousand tests below the pace since the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control ramped up testing over a month ago.
Testing was also limited over the holiday weekend during which DHEC closed its pop-up testing events.
Hospitalizations related to the coronavirus have continued to rise day by day.
Charleston County logged far fewer new cases Tuesday, falling below 100 for the first time in recent days.
Number of new cases reported: 934
Total number of cases in S.C.: 47,214
Number of new deaths reported: 19
Total number of deaths in S.C.: 838
Number of hospitalized patients: 1,324
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Percent of tests that were positive: 20.7 percent
Total number of tests in S.C.: 488,221
Which areas are hardest-hit?
On Tuesday, Horry County led the state in newly identified cases, reporting 109 new positive tests. Beaufort County logged 105, and Charleston County counted 82.
What’s happening in the tri-county region?
Charleston County reported far fewer new daily cases Tuesday than in previous weeks, with its 82.
Berkeley counted 34 new cases and Dorchester saw 32, according to DHEC.
Of the newly deceased patients, 17 were older than 65 and resided in Abbeville, Aiken, Anderson, Charleston, Cherokee, Greenville, Marion and Richland counties. Two were between the ages of 35 and 65 and lived in Charleston and Richland counties.
What do experts say?
The rise in the number of people hospitalized with the virus has concerned medical officials. Due to the steady increase in patients, the Medical University Hospital in Charleston recently decided to admit some adult patients to the new MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital. Prisma Health in the Midlands and Upstate regions has made similar decisions.
If social distancing and mask ordinances are not followed, medical experts warn, hospitals could become overwhelmed. The increase in new cases and hospitalizations is not solely the result of increased testing, officials have said, but is also connected to the rise in community transmission.
Reach Fleming Smith at 843-937-5591. Follow her on Twitter at @MFlemingSmith.