COVID-19 Update

The State Department of Health and Environmental Control on Wednesday announced 133 new cases of COVID-19, including four in Horry County, and seven additional deaths related to the disease. None the deaths were in Horry County.

South Carolina now has 8,030 lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 362 deaths.

Horry County is home to a cumulative total of 273 lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 18 who died. Accounting for undiagnosed patients, DHEC estimates the total number of cases in Horry County could actually be more than 1,900.

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

DHEC is ramping up testing in an effort to test 2 percent of the state's population, or 110,000 residents per month, and is setting up free mobile testing sites around the state.

[Click here for a list of all mobile testing locations]

DHEC has a running list of mobile testing sites around the state on its website. The entries marked with "DHEC" are free to the public.

That list includes a site at Lola Jones Park in Florence, hosted by the Medical University of South Carolina, which is offering free testing Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

There are no sites currently scheduled locally, but a DHEC spokesperson said Horry County would be home to a testing site in the next several weeks.

As testing increases, the state has upped the number of contact tracers, charged with tracking down contacts of COVID-19 patients to warn them of their exposure and offer them guidance. The agency normally employs 20 of them, but have increased that to 400, with another 1,400 on retainer.

The state is predicting 900 new cases a week by the end of May, with a cumulative total of 10,493 cases by May 30.

As of Wednesday morning, almost 96,000 people have been tested for COVID-19 in South Carolina. Horry County's hospital bed hospital bed capacity was at 74 percent. 

State officials are still encouraging residents to stay home and minimize contact with people outside their households to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus.

DHEC 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.

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