State health officials on Wednesday announced 79 new COVID-19 cases in Horry County.
Statewide, there were 528 new cases and seven additional coronavirus-related deaths, according to a news release from the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC).
“Today I am more concerned about COVID-19 in South Carolina than I have ever been before,” said Dr. Linda Bell, state epidemiologist, during a news conference held by Gov. Henry McMaster. “For the past few weeks, we’ve seen some of our highest daily numbers since the pandemic began, and there have also been recent increases in our percent positive which tells us that more people than we would hope for who are being tested are sick.”
So far, 15,759 people have tested positive for the virus in South Carolina and 575 have died. In Horry County, there have been 803 confirmed cases and 33 deaths connected to COVID-19.
The number of cases in South Carolina has increased as officials have ramped up COVID-19 testing. As of Tuesday, 261,377 tests have been conducted in the state by DHEC’s Public Health Laboratory and private labs. The total number of people tested Tuesday across the state was 4,078 and the percent positive was 12.9%.
“When the percent positive is low, it may indicate that more widespread testing is being performed and the percent positive may more accurately reflect how much disease is present in the community,” DHEC’s release said.
The state agency is working with community partners to bring mobile testing clinics to underserved and rural communities in South Carolina. There are currently 90 mobile testing events scheduled through July 2 and new testing events are being added regularly. Find mobile testing clinic event near you by clicking here.
Upcoming mobile testing clinics in our area include:
- Friday, June 12 at McLeod Health Center for Health & Fitness; 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; 3207 Casey Street, Loris
- Friday, June 12 at Conway High School; 10 a.m.-2 p.m.; 2301 Church St., Conway
- Saturday, June 13 at Myrtle Beach Pelicans Stadium; 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; 1251 21st Ave. N., Myrtle Beach
Residents can also get tested at one of 173 permanent COVID-19 testing facilities in the state.
As of Wednesday morning, 2,809 inpatient hospital beds across South Carolina were available and 7,608 were in use, which is a 73.03% statewide hospital bed utilization rate. Of the 7,608 beds currently used, 513 are occupied by patients who are under investigation for COVID-19 or tested positive for the disease.
Horry County's hospital bed capacity was 88.2% as of Tuesday.
Evidence is increasing about the high rates of infection in people who do not have symptoms and do not know they are infectious, officials said. This places everyone at risk of getting the virus or unknowingly transmitting it to another person.
DHEC advises community members to avoid group gatherings, wash their hands regularly and stay home when sick.
“Be smart,” McMaster said. “There’s a lot of stupid floating around out there.”