South Carolina now has more than 1,000 reported cases of the new coronavirus, a fast-spreading respiratory illness that has killed thousands worldwide.
State health officials reported 158 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, driving the state's tally up to 1,083. That includes two new cases in Greenwood County and one new case in Abbeville County. The state's death toll from the disease increased by four to 22.
The deaths reported Tuesday were of patients residing in Aiken, Calhoun, Marion and York counties. Three were elderly with underlying conditions, while one was middle-aged and had no underlying health problems, according to the state Department of Health and Environmental Control.
State Epidemiologist Linda Bell said it is important to remember that these numbers represent people and COVID-19 would likely affect every South Carolinian in some way.
Here are the current tallies for Greenwood and surrounding counties:
Abbeville — 4
Edgefield — 2
Greenwood — 5
Laurens — 3
McCormick — 0
Saluda — 1
State health officials said Saturday the number of positive tests could be higher for a few days as the public lab works through a backlog of samples after getting additional reagent. The lab had 1,800 untested samples on Friday after running out of a chemical needed to perform the tests. Bell said technicians have worked through the backlog and the state's public lab should now return results on new samples in 24 to 48 hours.
The new coronavirus causes minor symptoms in most patients but some experience serious illness, such as pneumonia, or even death. Those most at risk for serious illness are those who are older or have certain medical problems.
According to data released Wednesday, about 25% of COVID-19 patients in South Carolina were hospitalized. The state health agency does not track how many people recover from the virus.