COVID-19 Update

The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control on Wednesday announced 97 new cases of COVID-19 in South Carolina, and nine more deaths related to the virus.

Two of the new cases and none 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 6,936, with 305 deaths.

Horry County is now home to a cumulative total of 238 cases of lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 18 deaths. But due to undiagnosed cases, DHEC estimates there could actually be 1,700 cases in Horry County, and more than 49,000 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.

The state agency said Wednesday that it would test all 40,000 residents and staff in all of the state's 194 facilities. The testing is scheduled to start May 11, and the agency said all testing should be complete by the end of the month. 

[Click here to see a list of all nursing homes with COVID-19 cases]

More than 73,000 people have been tested for COVID-19.

As of Wednesday morning, 3,461 hospital beds were available and 6,601 were in use, which is almost a 66 percent statewide hospital bed utilization rate. Of the 6,601 beds in use, 485 are occupied by patients who have either tested positive or are under investigation for COVID-19, according to DHEC.

The numbers and hospital bed utilization rate include 11 non-acute care hospital facilities that are caring for COVID-19 patients.

Over the past week, DHEC has announced that it's expanding contact tracing and testing in rural areas, as Gov. Henry Mcmaster has relaxed restrictions. Tourists are now welcome in South Carolina, the beaches are open and outdoor dining is now allowed.

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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