826 tidelands covid vaccine booster_JM01.JPG

Mary Ellen Hoffman, registered nurse, gives a patient a booster vaccine against COVID-19 at Tidelands Health near The Market Common in Myrtle Beach on Thursday, Aug. 26, 2021. Tidelands is hiring more than 100 people to fill temporary positions as the hospital responds to demand for the vaccine and boosters. Photo by Janet Morgan/janet.morgan@myhorrynews.com

Horry County had a decrease in the number of confirmed weekly COVID-19 cases, which dropped below 500 for the first time since mid-July, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control reported Tuesday.

From Oct. 4 to Oct. 10, DHEC reports 463 confirmed cases in Horry County – an 18.7% decrease from the previous week that saw 570 confirmed cases.

Last week’s numbers make it the third week in a row of Horry County having less than 1,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19.

As of Sunday, Horry County had 51 newly confirmed cases of COVID-19, DHEC reports. Between Oct. 3 and Oct. 9, DHEC reported 20 new confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths in the county.

Since the pandemic began, South Carolina has had 11,300 confirmed COVID-19 deaths, with Horry County reporting 639 confirmed deaths.

SCHOOL UPDATE

The number of Horry County Schools students in quarantine slightly rose this week, according the HCS online COVID-19 dashboard. As of Tuesday morning, 2,100 students across the county's public schools are in quarantine, along with 79 staff members.

St. James Intermediate has the most students in quarantine at 153. The school also has the most active cases among students with 14.

Four other schools have 100 or more students in quarantine. According to the dashboard, Forestbrook Middle School has 139 students in quarantine, St. James High School has 121 students in quarantine, North Myrtle Beach High School has 113 students in quarantine and Green Sea Floyds Elementary has 102 students in quarantine as of Tuesday afternoon.

The dashboard shows there are a total of 189 total active cases across the county's schools and facilities, with 160 of those being students. St. James Intermediate and St. James High School are the only two schools in the district with 10 or more active student cases, with 14 and 12, respectively.

On Monday, Horry County Schools decided to not implement a mask mandate across the district, citing the recent drop in COVID-19 cases in the county.

HOSPITAL UPDATE

Statistics across Horry County vary from hospital to hospital Wednesday, according to the latest COVID data released.

Conway Medical Center Spokesperson Allyson Floyd said CMC is 87% occupied as of Tuesday morning, treating a total of 24 COVID-positive patients. Of those 24 patients, 14 of them are in ICU and 7 are on ventilators. A total of 21 COVID-positive patients are unvaccinated while three are fully vaccinated, Floyd said.

From Oct. 5 to Oct. 11, Floyd said CMC had six COVID-19 deaths, three times as many from the previous week.

Tidelands Health is 104% occupied as of Tuesday, said spokesperson Dawn Bryant. The hospital system has 18 patients hospitalized with COVID-19. Of those 18 patients, four are in ICU and two are on ventilators.

Tidelands currently has 14 patients who are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated, with three of those patients in ICU and one on a ventilator, Bryant said. The hospital system has four fully vaccinated patients who are hospitalized with COVID-19, one patient is in ICU and another is on a ventilator.

Tidelands reported five COVID-19-related deaths between Oct. 5 and Oct. 11.

According to DHEC data Wednesday:

• Horry County hospitals are 85.1% occupied

• 595 of the county's 699 hospital beds are occupied

• 100 of the 595 beds are occupied by patients who have COVID-19

• 81 of the county's 101 ICU beds are occupied, with COVID-19 patients occupying 30 beds

• 38 of the 177 ventilators in the county are being used, with 22 being used by COVID-19 patients

Reach Ian Livingston Brooking at 843-248-6882 for any story ideas or news happening in your area.

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