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North Myrtle Beach on May 3, 2020. Photo by Janet Morgan/janet.morgan@myhorrynews.com

The state Department of Health and Environmental Control on Monday announced 651 new cases of COVID-19 in South Carolina, including 17 in Horry County.

The agency also announced 12 new confirmed deaths connected to the disease in the state; one of those patients was an elderly person from Horry County.

Horry County's cumulative total of COVID-19 cases is now 9,376, and 183 of those patients have died.The state's cumulative total is 117,333 with 2,588 deaths.

So far, DHEC has reported 74,949 tests for COVID-19 being conducted in Horry County with a 16.7% being positive. As of Sunday, 1,013,506 tests have been administered across the state.

Currently, there are 248 mobile testing events scheduled through Oct. 17, and there are 228 permanent testing sites in South Carolina. Find a testing clinic or event near you at scdhec.gov/covid19testing.

“The total number of individual test results reported to DHEC yesterday statewide was 4,177 (not including antibody tests) and the percent positive was 15.6%,” Monday’s release said.

Additionally, the department is reporting 73.8% of the county’s hospital beds being occupied.

Throughout the month of August, Horry County has not seen a day with a daily COVID-19 case total of more than 100. The last time the county saw more than 100 daily new cases of COVID-19 was July 28.

State health officials continue to stress the importance of testing, emphasizing that even those without symptoms might still be infected and pass the disease to loved ones.

DHEC advises folks to get tested if they've experienced any of these symptoms:

• Fever or chills

• Cough

• Sore throat

• Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

• New loss of taste or smell

• Muscle or body aches

• Fatigue

• Headache

• Congestion or runny nose

• Nausea or vomiting

• Diarrhea

One should also get tested if it is recommended by one’s doctor/health care provider, the person was within five feet of others for more than 15 minutes without wearing a face covering.

Officials also recommend testing for those who live with or have been around someone who recently tested positive for COVID-19, believes they may have COVID-19, or has shown symptoms.

Unincorporated Horry County, Conway, Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle Beach and Atlantic Beach all have mask requirements.

North Myrtle Beach City Council on Monday voted to extend its ordinance for 60 days, citing the benefits of face coverings to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Horry County Council is set to vote on whether its own mask ordinance will be extended on Tuesday.

DHEC has shared data showing that communities with mask requirements continue to see a slower rate of COVID-19 spreading compared to ones without the rules.

Also, a recent study by Duke University shows that neck gaiters might be among the least effective kinds of face coverings for preventing the spread of respiratory droplets, according to DHEC.

Horry County Schools students will return to school on Sept. 8 with a hybrid instructional model, the school district announced. Students will have two days of in-person learning and three days of distance learning each week.



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