State health officials reported 1,110 new confirmed cases and one new probable case of the novel coronavirus on Sunday, along with 27 more confirmed deaths. An elderly Saluda County resident who died Wednesday was among the new deaths.
Statewide, this brings the total number of confirmed cases to 91,257 probable cases to 531, confirmed deaths to 1,709, and 68 probable deaths.
In the Lakelands, Greenwood County recorded 21 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, Laurens County saw 16, Saluda County added six, McCormick County logged three and Abbeville County had two.
In case you've missed the latest information on how cases are being reported, this should clear up the matter of "probable" versus "confirmed."
A confirmed case is an individual who had a confirmatory viral test performed by way of a throat or nose swab and that specimen tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, which is the virus that causes COVID-19, DHEC reports. A positive viral test, also called a PCR test or molecular test, alone is enough to classify a confirmed case.
DHEC reports a probable case is an individual who has not had a confirmatory viral test performed but has:
1. epidemiologic evidence and clinical evidence of infection, or
2. a positive antibody blood test and either epidemiologic evidence or clinical evidence. (A positive antibody test alone is currently not a reliable method for diagnosing a COVID-19 infection.)
A confirmed death is said to be someone whose death is related to COVID-19 and who tested positive with a confirmatory viral test for COVID-19.
A probable death classification refers to an individual whose death certificate lists COVID-19 disease or SARS-CoV-2 as a cause of death or a significant condition contributing to death but did not undergo confirmatory viral testing.
Cumulative confirmed case totals for Greenwood and surrounding counties are:
Abbeville — 289 (6 deaths)
Edgefield — 279 (5 deaths)
Greenwood — 1,255 (12 deaths)
Laurens — 1,218 (32 deaths)
McCormick — 105 (2 deaths)
Newberry — 772 (7 deaths)
Saluda — 418 (7 deaths)
Testing in South Carolina
As of Saturday, a total of 777,287 tests have been conducted in the state. DHEC’s Public Health Laboratory is operating extended hours and is testing specimens seven days a week, and the Public Health Laboratory’s current timeframe for providing results to health care providers is 24-48 hours.
The total number of individual test results reported Saturday to DHEC was 7,306 (not including antibody tests) and the percent positive was 15.2%.
More Than 130 Mobile Testing Clinics Scheduled Statewide
As part of its ongoing efforts to increase testing in underserved and rural communities across the state, DHEC is working with community partners to set up mobile testing clinics that bring testing to these communities. Currently, there are 138 mobile testing events scheduled through Sept. 29 with new testing events added regularly. Find a mobile testing clinic event near you at scdhec.gov/covid19mobileclinics.
Residents can visit scdhec.gov/covid19testing for information about getting tested at one of 215 permanent COVID-19 testing facilities across the state.
Hospital Bed Occupancy
Since July 22, the federal government has required hospitals nationwide to report data directly to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services through a new TeleTracking system, which replaces the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s National Healthcare Safety Network system that had been used by hospitals for reporting data throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently, the TeleTracking system asks hospitals to report all of their available beds as one total number, not broken down by bed type as the NHSN system had. Therefore, hospitals’ total number of beds reported includes pediatric beds, neonatal intensive care unit (ICU) bassinets, psychiatric beds, labor and delivery beds, rehabilitation beds and others. As a practical matter, not all of these bed types could be used for caring for adult patients hospitalized with COVID-19, or other medical issues.
DHEC is working with the S.C. Hospital Association to create a new process for gathering inpatient bed availability and occupancy from each hospital in the state, as this is the reporting metric that best provides the number of hospital beds available for caring for adult COVID-19 patients. Officials plan to have a more defined reporting system in place in the coming days.
As DHEC continues to refine hospital bed data, with the TeleTracking system now implemented by South Carolina hospitals, it is able to resume reporting of the following key information:
• ICU beds: 1,444 total; 320 available; 1,124 in use (77.84% utilization rate)
• COVID-19 patients hospitalized: 1,427; 365 in ICU; 230 ventilated