Two more South Carolinians have died of the new coronavirus as state health officials announced 32 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday.
In South Carolina, nine people have died of the fast-spreading respiratory virus as of Thursday afternoon and 456 had been diagnosed with the disease, according to the state Department of Health and Environmental Control. This included an additional case in Abbeville County, taking that county's total up to four.
The agency reported that of the two who died, one was a resident of Kershaw County and the other was a resident of Sumter County. Both had underlying health problems and the patient from Kershaw was elderly.
Dr. Linda Bell, state epidemiologist, blamed the large variance in new positive cases from one day to another on the shortage of chemicals needed to perform the tests.
The result of the shortage is that some test results are delayed, making some days have smaller tallies than they otherwise would while some days could see large tallies. She said there is currently a backlog of 1,600 tests at the state's public lab, which doesn't include testing performed at private labs.
She also said instead of testing everyone who might have COVID-19, health officials will focus on testing those who become more seriously ill.
Most people who contract COVID-19 only face minor symptoms, but some become seriously ill or even die, especially those who are older or have certain underlying health problems.