COVID-19 Update

South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) announced Tuesday 1,537 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 170 in Horry County.

The announced brings the county's cumulative total up to 5,014. The number of cases across the state is nearing 50,000 cases with 48,770 confirmed cases after today’s announcement.

The state also announced 38 additional deaths linked to COVID-19. However, some of those deaths may be linked to earlier dates.

“Today’s 38 deaths included some deaths of individuals that were delayed in being reported to DHEC since June 24,” DHEC said in a news release. “The agency is reiterating to healthcare facilities and providers across the state that all COVID-19-related deaths must be reported to DHEC by phone within 24 hours, in accordance with the South Carolina List of Reportable Conditions.”

Seven of those deaths were in Horry County, bringing the local death toll from the viral disease up to 61.

The total number of COVID-10 deaths in South Carolina is now at 876, according to DHEC.

As of Tuesday morning, 2,587 inpatient hospital beds are available and 7,991 are in use, which is a 75.54% statewide hospital bed utilization rate. Of the 7,991 inpatient beds currently used, 1,404 are occupied by patients who have either tested positive or are under investigation for COVID-19.

In Horry County, the hospital bed occupancy was at 85.1% as of Tuesday.

As of Tuesday, a total of 497,122 tests have been conducted in the state.

Of the 7,323 samples tested yesterday across the state, 21 percent came back positive.

It marked the first time in the past month that the percent-positive rate has been above 20 percent for two consecutive days.

The rising hospitalization rate and percent of COVID-19 tests coming back positive is evidence of a sicker population. In addition, DHEC says there are high rates of infection in people who have no symptoms whatsoever, and the age of COVID-19 patents has been trending younger as more people without symptoms test positive.

DHEC officials continue to suggest people practice social distancing, wear a mask when in public, avoid group gatherings, regularly wash your hands and to stay home if sick.

Currently, there are 99 mobile testing events scheduled through August 4 with new testing events added regularly. Find a mobile testing clinic event near you at scdhec.gov/covid19mobileclinics.

As the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 across South Carolina continues to rise, Tidelands Health, in partnership with DHEC, is scheduling four free large-scale testing events this month.

Starting at 10 a.m. and lasting until test run out, the events are:

• Friday at Georgetown High School

• July 17 at Myrtle Beach Pelicans Stadium

• July 24 at Coastal Carolina University

• July 31 at Myrtle Beach Pelicans Stadium

Residents can also get tested at one of 172 permanent COVID-19 testing facilities across the state. Visit scdhec.gov/covid19testing for more information.

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