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COVID-19 update: SC passes 50K cases; Laurens County records 13th death

DHEC map

State health officials reported 1,723 new confirmed cases and one new probable case of the novel coronavirus on Thursday, as well as 22 additional confirmed deaths. There are 1,433 hospital beds occupied by patients who have either tested positive or are under investigation for COVID-19.

In the Lakelands, Laurens County recorded its 13th confirmed death and 23 new confirmed cases, Greenwood County added 20 cases, Saluda County saw five cases, McCormick County had four and Abbeville County reported two.

Statewide, this brings the cumulative total of confirmed cases to 50,548, probable cases to 143, confirmed deaths to 897 and seven probable deaths.

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 — 138 (1 death)

Edgefield — 107 (4 deaths)

Greenwood — 668 (7 deaths)

Laurens — 666 (13 deaths)

McCormick — 32 (2 deaths)

Newberry — 355 (5 deaths)

Saluda — 254 (2 deaths)

Testing in South Carolina

As of Wednesday, a total of 507,870 tests have been conducted in the state. See a detailed breakdown of tests in South Carolina on the Data and Projections webpage. 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, although a recent increase in testing may lead to a delay of one to two days.

Percent Positive Test Trends among Reported COVID-19 Cases

The total number of individuals tested Wednesday statewide was 8,350 (not including antibody tests) and the percent positive was 20.6%.

Nearly 100 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 99 mobile testing events scheduled through Aug. 4 with new testing events added regularly. Find a mobile testing clinic event near you at scdhec.gov/covid19mobileclinics.

Residents can also get tested at one of 172 permanent COVID-19 testing facilities across the state. Visit scdhec.gov/covid19testing for more information.

Hospital Bed Occupancy

As of Thursday morning, 2,648 inpatient hospital beds are available and 8,058 are in use, which is a 75.27% statewide hospital bed utilization rate. Of the 8,058 inpatient beds currently used, 1,433 are occupied by patients who have either tested positive or are under investigation for COVID-19.

COVID-19

LATEST DEVELOPMENTS

South Carolina lawmakers were in an unenviable position.

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.

Educators in Greenwood County school districts 50 and 51 are excited to return for a new school year, but they understand the trepidation people might have because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Greenwood County added 38 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, the county's highest daily tally in more than two weeks. Despite the high daily case count, the seven-day new case average is still half of what it was 15 days ago.

Restaurants in Greenwood are prepared for Gov. Henry McMaster’s newest restrictions on dining establishments. The executive order goes into effect Monday.

Greenwood County School District 51 students will return to school on Aug. 27 and the 2020-21 school year will officially end June 4.

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

As the Lakelands and the country respond to the novel coronavirus pandemic, which has led to state and national emergency declarations, it is vital for everyone to have up-to-date information about the virus and its spread. As such, we're providing free access to all of our COVID-19 coverage, which is available on this page.

Here's the latest information on COVID-19 from health agencies and hospitals: