The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control announced Thursday, July 2 that 1,629 new confirmed cases and 3 new probable cases of COVID-19 had been reported. The continued rise in cases comes as health officials warn of an upward trend in coronavirus infections, deaths due to the virus and an increase in hospitalizations across the state.
DHEC also announced 19 additional deaths. The day before —Wednesday, July 1 — the agency announced a record of 24 deaths in one day. Over 1,100 hospital beds are now occupied by patients who either have tested positive or are thought to be positive for COVID-19.
South Carolina has reported a total of 39,587 cases of COVID-19, 114 probable cases, 777 confirmed deaths, and 7 probable deaths.
The state has seen a steady rise in case in the past three weeks, said Dr. Scott Sasser of Prisma Health Systems on Wednesday.
In recent weeks, younger people have been making up more positive cases than previously in Prisma’s community testing.
“Unless we all of us take some steps to stop the spread, we could see even higher numbers resurge in the state of South Carolina,” Sasser explained. “At Prisma health, we have seen an increase in the positivity rate from 23.6% in March and April to 35.7%. through May through late June for that 20 to 39 year old age group.”
The positivity rate for those aged 60 and up has decreased since April. The positivity rate is the number of individuals who have tested positive divided by the number of individuals tested, then multiplied by 100.
Sasser also urged those that have tested positive for COVID-19 to consider donating their convalescent plasma, which could help patients battle the disease. “We will all need more convalescent plasma with the higher volume of patients that we’re seeing,” he said.
Concerning the holiday weekend, Sasser said: “As we celebrate the Fourth of July this weekend, we want to remind everyone that the coronavirus remains active in our community, and that we shouldn’t let our guard down. We ask members of our community to continue to embrace good public health measures that are fairly simple and straight.”
You can find more information about COVID-19 and recommendations on keeping safe at DHEC’s website which you can access here.