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North Myrtle Beach city leaders are debating requiring masks be used in designated areas and stores. Here a mask is on a mannequin on Main Street on Friday. Photo by Janet Morgan/janet.morgan@myhorrynews.com

For the second day in a row, Horry County set a new single-day record for a jump in COVID-19 cases.

The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control on Saturday announced 358 new cases of COVID-19, and three more deaths from the disease, smashing through the last record, set Friday, of 237 new cases in a single day.

DHEC announced a record 1,836 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 throughout South Carolina and 19 more deaths, bringing the state's total up to 43,260 and the number of deaths up to 806. 

As of Saturday morning, the state's hospital occupation rate was 71.4 percent, and Horry County's bed utilization rate was 84 percent, with 560 beds occupied and 107 available. 

Of the 7,648 occupied hostel beds in the state, 1,190 beds held COVID-19 patients. There are still 3,058 beds available throughout the state.

Almost 20 percent of the 9,338 samples tested yesterday came back positive for COVID-19. 

Health officials say the high percentage of tests coming back positive as well as the increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations are evidence of a sicker population, regardless of the total number of tests that come back positive. 

Because COVID-19 has no vaccine and no cure, its spread is dependent on how responsibly the population adheres to public health experts' recommendations to wear a mask in public, practice social distancing, avoid large public gatherings, practice good hygiene and stay home when sick.

Because Gov. Henry McMaster declined to enact a statewide mask mandate, many local governments across the state and in Horry County are taking action to slow the spread.

North Myrtle Beach was the first to pass an ordinance requiring customers and employees who interact with the public to wear masks in retailers and personal services businesses.

Myrtle Beach passed a similar but more restrictive ordinance on Thursday. Horry County passed an ordinance on Friday and both Conway and Atlantic Beach are scheduled to vote on mask ordinances on Monday. 

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(2) comments

dgriff051

DHEC: Positive COVID-19 cases in S.C. surpass 58,000; 13 additional deaths announced

South Carolina has third-worst COVID-19 outbreak in the world !!

Maybe some people would rather be on a VENTILATOR instead of wearing a mask....wait til ya get the hospital bill !!

Copper

Where in Horry county are the most cases being reported

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