South Carolina reported another day of fewer than 1,000 new coronavirus cases Wednesday.
Newly confirmed deaths were still in the double digits, though Wednesday saw fewer than 20 deaths, compared to the nearly 50 deaths recorded Tuesday.
The 704 new cases were the most in four days, while the seven-day rolling average ticked up for the first time in a month, at 761 cases. Still, the number of cases is down 40 percent from two weeks ago.
The number of test results reported daily continues to be low. According to the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control, 4,195 test results were reported Tuesday, with 704 positive results for Wednesday’s update.
That’s the fourth day in a row with fewer than 5,000 tests being reported. Testing is down 27 percent over the past two weeks and the seven-day rolling average is 5,038 tests.
More than 165 mobile testing events had been scheduled through mid-October. Go to scdhec.gov/covid19mobileclinics for information about those events and scdhec.gov/covid19testing for a roster of permanent testing facilities.
Number of new cases reported: 704
Total number of cases in S.C.: 107,274, plus 1,137 probable cases
Number of new deaths reported: 17
Total number of deaths in S.C.: 2,248, plus 112 probable deaths
Number of hospitalized patients: 1,168
Percent of tests that were positive: 16.8 percent
Total number of tests in S.C.: 946,826
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Which areas are hardest hit?
Charleston County led the state with 102 new cases reported Wednesday, while Richland County reported 87 and Anderson County logged 66.
What’s happening in the tri-county region?
In addition to the 102 new cases in Charleston County, Berkeley reported 26 and Dorchester logged 21.
Of the 17 deaths confirmed Wednesday, one was of a person 18 to 34 years old, two were 35 to 64 years old and 14 were 65 or older. They lived in Aiken, Beaufort, Edgefield, Florence, Georgetown, Greenville, Greenwood, Kershaw, Spartanburg, Sumter, Union and Williamsburg counties.
The state Department of Health and Environmental Control reported that 1,168 COVID-19 patients were hospitalized as of Wednesday. Of these, 164 were on ventilators and 293 were in intensive care.
What do experts say?
Officials continue to urge basic precautions to help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus: social distancing, wearing a mask in public, avoiding group gatherings, regularly washing hands and staying home when sick.
Dr. Patrick Flume, a pulmonary physician at the Medical University of South Carolina leading research on COVID-19, said the point of wearing masks is to do so all the time.
“It’s not just if you have COVID, it’s because you might,” he said. “People don’t understand this is like a forest fire.”
Even if South Carolina has reached a “burning embers” stage of the fire, Flume said, “you’ve got to put it out completely.”
Andy Shain and Mary Katherine Wildeman contributed to this report.
Reach Sara Coello at 843-937-5705 and follow her on Twitter @smlcoello.