COVID-19 Update

The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control on Monday announced 135 new cases of COVID-19 in South Carolina, and eight more deaths related to the virus.

Four of the new cases and one of the deaths were from Horry County.

The announcement brings the number of people in South Carolina with a lab-confirmed case of COVID-19 up to 6,757, with 283 deaths.

Horry County is now home to a cumulative total of 230 cases of lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 16 deaths. However, due to undiagnosed cases, the state agency believes there could actually be more than 1,600 cases in Horry County, and more than 48,000 cases statewide.

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

DHEC is projecting the state to have a cumulative total of more than 9,600 lab-confirmed cases by May 23.

Almost 68,000 people have been tested for COVID-19 and as of Monday morning, Horry County's hospital bed capacity was at just under 59 percent.

DHEC said Friday that 78 percent of patients had recovered and announced it would ramp up the availability of testing in underserved areas.

The agency also said it would begin contact tracing to slow down the spread. Contact tracing involves tracking down and interviewing anyone who interacted with a person confirmed to have COVID-19.

State Epidemiologist Dr. Linda Bell said Friday the agency had increased its number contact tracers from around 20 to 200. 

While the curve of new cases is starting to flatten, S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster has relaxed some of his earlier restrictions, allowing some retailers to reopen with capacity restrictions and giving cities the power to make their own decisions on whether to reopen public beach accesses. 

On Friday, the governor lifted his restrictions on short-term rentals. Effective Monday, outdoor dining at restaurants is allowed, and the stay-at-home order has been lifted. Gatherings of non-family groups of more than three are no longer prohibited.

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 also 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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(1) comment

StimULater

Of the 226 confirmed cases how many had a serious disease when they contracted covid?

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