COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control has announced 163 new cases of the novel coronavirus and 5 additional deaths.
This brings the total number of people confirmed to have COVID-19 in South Carolina to 8,816 and those who have died to 385.
Four of those deaths occurred in elderly individuals (65 and older) in Dillon (1), Horry (1), Richland (1), and Sumter (1) counties.
One death occurred in a middle-aged individual (35 to 64-years-old) in Florence County (1).
As of May 15, DHEC has estimated 84% of people who didn’t die from the virus have recovered. That would be more than 7,000 patients who have recovered.
Of all inpatient hospital beds in the state, 6,583 beds are in use and 3,798 beds are available.
Here’s a list of the newest confirmed cases by county as of Saturday, May 17:
- Abbeville (1)
- Aiken (4)
- Allendale (2)
- Anderson (1)
- Bamberg (1)
- Beaufort (1)
- Charleston (4)
- Chester (1)
- Chesterfield (2)
- Clarendon (12)
- Colleton (1)
- Darlington (6)
- Dillon (5)
- Dorchester (2)
- Edgefield (1)
- Fairfield (2)
- Florence (5)
- Greenville (38)
- Horry (5)
- Kershaw (1)
- Lancaster (2)
- Lee (5)
- Lexington (9)
- Pickens (2)
- Richland (15)
- Saluda (8)
- Spartanburg (15)
- Sumter (8)
- Williamsburg (1), York (3)
COVID-19 Testing in South Carolina
- Negative tests from DHEC Public Health Laboratory - 23,023
- Negative tests from private laboratories - 95,963
- Total negative tests - 118,986
- Positive tests from DHEC Public Health Laboratory - 3,072
- Positive tests from private laboratories - 5,744
- Total positive tests - 8,816
- Total number of tests performed in South Carolina by DHEC and private labs - 127,802
To find a COVID-19 testing site near you, click or tap here.
South Carolinians are encouraged to monitor for symptoms, practice social distancing, avoid touching frequently touched items (such as doorknobs and handrails), and regularly wash their hands, especially after being in a public place.
To help protect against COVID-19, DHEC encourages everyone to wear a mask covering whenever in public. When wearing a mask, South Carolinians should:
- Make sure you can breathe through it
- Wear it whenever going out in public
- Make sure it covers your nose and mouth
- Wash your hands before taking it on or off
- Wash after using
You should not:
- Use on children under age 2
- Touch the front of the mask
- Use surgical masks needed by healthcare workers
DHEC says homemade masks can reduce the chance of people spreading the virus and keep them from touching their face. They are recommended to be worn in places where social distancing is difficult -- grocery stores, pharmacies, etc...
People who have the virus but aren’t showing symptoms can reduce their chance of spreading the virus by wearing a mask, so everyone is recommended to wear one.
For a video tutorial on how to make your own mask, click or tap here.
Individuals with signs of illness are asked to stay at home and not attend public gatherings.
FACTS ABOUT CORONAVIRUS
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, is spread mainly from person-to-person by those in close contact, or through coughing and sneezing by someone who’s infected.
Symptoms of the coronavirus can show up between two and 14 days of exposure, health officials say. Symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath.
For most people, COVID-19 causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. But some severe cases can lead to death.
Most people can recover from the virus at home using over-the-counter medications to treat their symptoms.
Those who are at the highest risk of developing a severe case of COVID-19 are the elderly and those who are already being treated for chronic medical diseases.
Young people who contract the virus are not likely to have a serious case, research shows. However, the CDC said about 40% of people who needed to be hospitalized due to the coronavirus are between the ages of 20 and 54.
Those who are hospitalized with serious cases of COVID-19 have trouble breathing, and many need support from ventilators, which breathe for them. The U.S. is working to produce more of the machines to prepare, but experts fear a shortage of life-saving devices.
The mortality rate for people with the virus has been widely reported around 2 to 3%, but health experts note the actual percentage is not that high, as not all cases are diagnosed or reported.
The rate is higher than the flu, which kills on average about 0.1% of people who get it, based on a 10-year average of data from the CDC.
Anyone with concerns about their health, or who believes they are showing symptoms such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath, should call their health care provider. Avoid going to the doctor or an emergency room unless the situation is life-threatening.
People without a doctor can take advantage of free online screening from Prisma Health and the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC).
MUSC has an online platform to aid with coronavirus diagnosis and care. Go to musc.care and access the COVID-19 platform. The service is free with code: COVID19.
Prisma Health also has a free virtual visit, which allows patients to video conference with a doctor instead of coming into a facility. The goal is to keep patients who don’t need to be treated at a hospital at home. Go to prismahealth.org/virtual-visit and use promo code COVID19 for a free virtual visit.
For more information on COVID-19, click or tap here to visit the CDC’s website.