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 saw a slight rise in COVID-19 cases last week, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control reported Tuesday.

From Aug. 29 to Sept. 4, there were a total of 1,806 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the county. The number of confirmed cases in the past week is a near 2% increase from the previous week, which saw 1,772 confirmed cases.

The county saw a total of 37 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths combined from Sunday, Aug. 29, to Saturday, Sept. 4, the second-most across the state behind Greenville County.

As of Sunday, a total of 170 confirmed cases of COVID-19 were reported in Horry County, DHEC said Tuesday. The 170 confirmed cases are the sixth most in the state.

According to the Horry County Schools COVID-19 dashboard, there were 638 confirmed cases among students as of Tuesday afternoon. Black Water Middle School had the most with 34 confirmed student cases. St. James Middle was second with 32 confirmed student cases.

The dashboard reports that 9,700 of Horry County students are currently in quarantine, meaning more than 20% of the student body is home. According to the dashboard, 37 total schools have at least 100 students in quarantine. A total of nine schools have at least 300 students out in quarantine.

Conway High School, which moved to virtual learning last week, has the most students in quarantine with 800, the dashboard reports.

As schools continue to grapple with the rise in COVID-19 cases in the county, local hospitals are struggling as well.

Conway Medical Center spokesperson Allyson Floyd said CMC was at 73% capacity as of Tuesday morning.

Floyd said that CMC currently has 50 COVID positive hospitalized patients, with 20 in ICU and 13 on ventilators. Of the 50 COVID positive patients, 44 are unvaccinated, one is partially vaccinated and five are fully vaccinated.

From Aug. 31 to Sept. 6, there were 10 COVID patient deaths at CMC.

Last week, Tidelands Health announced they would be receiving additional support from the South Carolina National Guard to help with the health agency amid the rise in COVID-19 cases across the county.

Dawn Bryant, spokesperson for Tidelands Health, said the hospital system is currently at 106% capacity, with the ICU operating at 130% capacity. As of Tuesday afternoon, Bryant said 54 patients currently hospitalized with COVID-19 at Tidelands. Of those 54 patients, 50 are either unvaccinated or partially vaccinated. The health system is currently treating 12 COVID-19 patients in ICU, with 11 being unvaccinated or partially vaccinated. There are currently 11 COVID-19 patients on ventilators at Tidelands Health — 10 who are on unvaccinated or partially vaccinated.

Between Aug. 31 and Sept. 6, Bryant said Tidelands had three COVID-19 deaths, a drop from the nine that the health system had the previous week.

As of Tuesday, the total occupancy for Horry County hospitals was at 92.9%, according to DHEC. Of the county’s 721 hospital beds, a total of 670 were occupied. Of those 670, 193 were occupied by patients who have COVID-19. DHEC also reports that 95 of the county's 97 ICU beds are occupied, with 46 of those being occupied by COVID-19 patients. DHEC also reports that 53 of the 166 ventilators in the county are being used, with 30 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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