South Carolina health officials on Thursday announced two new deaths related to COVID-19, bringing the state’s total number of deaths to nine.
The number of reported coronavirus cases also rose to 456 cases, up 32 from Wednesday. The fluctuation in the number of new cases day to day reflects the availability of chemicals needed for laboratories to perform the testing, state epidemiologist Linda Bell said at a news briefing Thursday afternoon.
“There is currently a shortage of these chemicals nationwide, including in South Carolina, which can lead to delays in test results,” Bell said.
The Department of Health and Environmental Control is projecting the number of COVID-19 cases in the state to increase to more than 8,000 by early May, nearly 20 times the number of confirmed cases so far.
Based on current data models, DHEC is projecting 2,657 total cases by April 2 and 8,053 cases by May 2.
However, officials warned that the projected data are estimates and “may change significantly due to various factors.”
“This is a serious time that calls for serious actions,” said Brannon Traxler, DHEC physician consultant. “Our chance of reaching the best outcome hinges on us all doing our part. We can’t express strongly enough the importance of all of us practicing social distancing, staying home and away from other people when sick, and washing our hands often.”
Just one of the 32 new cases was recorded in Greenville County, bringing the county’s total to 51 cases. Kershaw County remains the hardest hit with 64 total cases.