COVID-19 Update

State health officials on Sunday announced 163 new cases of COVID-19 and five additional coronavirus-related deaths, including one in Horry County.

The state Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) reported five new cases of COVID-19 in Horry County, bringing the total of lab-confirmed cases in the county to 298. So far, 8,816 people in South Carolina have tested positive for COVID-19.

There have been 19 confirmed deaths related to the virus in Horry County and 385 statewide. 

Horry County is one of the least-affected counties in the state by a per-capita infection rate. Accounting for undiagnosed patients, DHEC estimates there could be more than 2,000 COVID-19 cases in Horry County and almost 62,000 across the state.

[Click here to see DHEC's map of COVID-19 cases by zip code.]

State officials noted that as they increase testing for COVID-19, the number of positive cases will likely increase.

Of the 7,471 tests performed in South Carolina Saturday, 2.2% were positive.

"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," the DHEC release said.

DHEC has ramped up COVID-19 testing statewide with the goal of testing 110,000 people (or 2% of the population) each month.

DHEC is setting up mobile testing sites around the state, with a list of locations published on its website. There are currently 57 sites scheduled through June 3.

Horry County's hospital bed capacity was just under 64 percent Sunday.

State officials are encouraging residents to stay home when possible and minimize contact with people outside their households to slow the spread of the virus. The state recommends practicing social distancing, wearing a mask while out in public, avoiding touching frequently-touched items, routinely washing one's hands and monitoring for symptoms.

DHEC on Thursday launched a radio PSA to offer guidance on when and how to wear a mask. 

Contact Charles D. Perry at 843-488-7236


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