Across South Carolina, COVID-19 cases continue to rise. Health experts are urging people to follow health guidelines to help stop the spread of the novel coronavirus while hospital systems and governments prepare for a vaccine rollout in the coming months.
Dr. Wendell James, chief clinical officer at Prisma Health Upstate, said on Dec. 7 that the numbers of positive COVID-19 cases coming in over the past few days have been “breathtaking.”
“We need the public to take responsibility for one another and put masks on, wash their hands, and socially distance,” said James. He urged those who have symptoms or who may have been exposed to get tested.
James said the community has the ability to get these numbers down, comparing it to what happened over the summer when the number of positive cases did decrease for some time.
“Take us seriously. Believe us. We have no agenda here other than your best interest,” he said.
Unlike last summer, though, there’s now “a light at the end of the tunnel,” James said, in the form of a vaccine. However, James cautioned that a vaccine will not be readily available for months. Community members still need to follow the guidelines recommended by health officials to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.
As of Monday, 8,768 people across the state have occupied inpatient hospital beds out of the current 11,145 inpatient beds set aside for COVID-19 patients, according to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control. Greenville County alone has about 1,000 beds occupied, DHEC reported on Sunday, Dec. 6.
In the past two weeks, DHEC has reported almost 4,000 new cases in Greenville County alone.
Find out more about COVID-19 and where to get tested at https://scdhec.gov/covid19.