South Carolina recorded fewer than 600 new coronavirus cases Sunday, though the state continued to see a high percentage of tests coming back positive, at 13.8 percent for the day’s report.
Sunday saw a small number of deaths reported compared with the previous months of the pandemic, with only three new deaths reported. The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control is still working to determine whether 182 other deaths were related to COVID-19.
Nearly 750 residents are currently hospitalized with the virus.
New cases reported: 569, a 134 percent increase from the 158 tallied on March 31, the day Gov. Henry McMaster ordered nonessential businesses to close.
Total cases in S.C.: 141,909, plus 3,978 probable cases
New deaths reported: 3
Total deaths in S.C.: 3,144, plus 182 probable deaths
Hospitalized patients: 734
Total tests in S.C.: 1,363,195
Percent of positive tests, seven-day average: 12 percent. Five percent of tests or fewer returning positive results is a good sign the virus’ spread is slowing, researchers say.
The top three South Carolina counties for new coronavirus cases Sunday were Lexington, 80; Richland, 58; and Greenville and Berkeley counties, each with 40.
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What about the tri-county?
Charleston County had 33 new cases, Berkeley had 40 and Dorchester had seven.
Of the three new deaths, two were elderly patients aged 65 and older, according to DHEC. One middle-aged patient, aged 35 to 64, also died.
They resided in Aiken, Hampton and Richland counties.
Of 734 coronavirus patients who were hospitalized as of Sunday, DHEC said 179 were in intensive care and 108 were on ventilators.
What do experts say?
Public health authorities continue to urge South Carolinians to take precautions, such as wearing masks or other face coverings, social distancing and frequent hand washing.
They also urge anyone who believes they’ve been exposed to the virus or who is developing symptoms to get tested.
“If you are out and about in the community, around others, or not able to socially distance or wear a mask, we recommend that you get tested at least once a month,” DHEC said.
There are 336 mobile testing events scheduled through Oct. 31 and 257 permanent testing facilities. Go to scdhec.gov/covid19testing to find a testing site in your area.
Reach Fleming Smith at 843-937-5591. Follow her on Twitter at @MFlemingSmith.