The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control on Saturday announced 217 new cases of COVID-19 in the state, bringing the statewide total up to 1,917 confirmed cases across all 46 counties.
The state agency also announced six additional deaths related to the disease. All six of the people who died were elderly and had underlying health conditions, according to DHEC. Two of them were Lexington County residents, and the other individuals were residents of Georgetown, Beaufort, Richland and York counties.
The state now has seen 40 deaths connected to COVID-19. So far, Horry has seen 63 cases of COVID-19 and four deaths related to the disease.
As of Friday, the state agency's Public Health Laboratory has performed 7,017 tests for COVID-19. Of those tests, 806 were positive and 6,211 were negative.
A total of 18,314 tests by both DHEC's Public Health Laboratory lab and private labs have been conducted in South Carolina.
Officials said DHEC’s Public Health Laboratory is operating extended hours and is performing tests seven days a week; its current timeframe for providing results to health care providers is 24-48 hours.
Additionally, as of Friday, 5,807 hospital beds in the state are available and 6,362 are used.
“The overall trend this week has been in greater hospital bed availability, specifically a 6.4 percent decrease in hospital bed utilization since March 23,” DHEC officials said in Saturday’s announcement.
DHEC urges state residents to stay home and minimize contact with people outside their homes to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Other steps that are encouraged are practicing social distancing, avoiding touching frequently-touched items and regularly washing one's hands.