COVID-19 Update

The state Department of Health and Environmental Control on Sunday announced 1,019 new cases of COVID-19 in South Carolina, including 27 in Horry County.

The agency also announced 11 new confirmed deaths connected to the disease in South Carolina with one of them being a young adult individual from Horry County.

Horry County's cumulative total of COVID-19 cases is now 9,269, and 173 of those patients have died.

The state's cumulative total is 116,697 with 2,574 who've died.

The state reported 4,730 of COVID-19 test results from Thursday. Of those, 21.5% were positive. The number does not include antibody tests. Since the pandemic began, the state has tested 1,006,606

In the past week, Horry County has completed 869 active infection tests. Of 869 tests, 129 have come back positive, which is a percent-positive rate of 14.8 percent. Since testing began on Feb. 10, Horry County has completed 66,028 active infection tests and 7,756 antibody tests.

In Sunday's DHEC release, officials encouraged anyone that wants to be tested for COVID-19 to get tested.

“DHEC continues to emphasize the importance of testing,“ said DHEC physician Dr. Brannon Traxler. “While many people with COVID-19 have mild or no symptoms, it is still possible that they could be infected and pass the disease to friends, family and loved ones. Meanwhile, others don't know that they've been in close contact (within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes) with someone with confirmed COVID-19. Therefore, we continue to provide no out-of-pocket costs community testing events open to anyone who would like to be tested.”

In addition, DHEC recommends routine testing of individuals with known exposures or concerns about exposures.

DHEC advises people to be tested if they've been around someone with COVID-19 or have experienced any of the following 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

As of Saturday, Horry County hospitals were at 77.6% capacity.

Of 1,449 intensive care unit beds, in the state 1,052 were occupied, with 250 ICU beds holding COVID-19 patients. 

Of the state's 1,582 ventilators, 489 were in use, with 143 used by COVID-19 patients. 

Tidelands Health is offering free drive-through COVID-19 testing every Tuesday in Pawleys Island and each Friday in Myrtle Beach.

The Pawleys Island testing is scheduled for 3-5 p.m. or until supplies run out every Tuesday at the Precious Blood of Christ Catholic Parish, 1633 Waverly Road.

The Myrtle Beach testing is scheduled for 2-5 p.m. or until supplies run out every Friday at Horry-Georgetown Technical College's Conference Center at 950 Crabtree Lane.

Each testing event will have enough DHEC-supplied test kits to handle 250 people. Pre-screening is not required.

Throughout the month of August, Horry County has not seen a day with a daily COVID-19 case total of more than 100. 

DHEC on Tuesday reinforced the benefits of wearing masks.

"The data continues to reinforce what we’ve already known about proper wearing of masks and their success in helping to stop the spread of this deadly virus,” said DHEC physician Dr. Brannon Traxler in a news release.

DHEC released more data Tuesday proving the effectiveness of masks. 

According to the state health agency:

• Jurisdictions with mask requirements have seen an overall decrease of 43 percent of total cases for the five weeks after the requirements were implemented compared to before the requirements were in place. This is an overall decrease of 99.2 cases per 100,000 people from before the mask requirements to after.

• Jurisdictions without mask requirements have experienced an overall increase in total cases of 1.2 percent when compared to jurisdictions with a mask requirement in place.

North Myrtle Beach will vote on an extension of its mask ordinance on Monday. Horry County Council will vote on an extension of its mask ordinance on Tuesday.

Myrtle Beach has an executive order regarding masks/face coverings in public places. The mask must cover both your mouth and your nose when you are in stores, restaurants (except when eating), hotel lobbies, elevators and other indoor public spaces.

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