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 bump in COVID-19 cases last week, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control reported Monday.

From Sept. 12 to Sept. 18, DHEC reported the county had 1,239 confirmed cases of COVID-19, a 12.4% increase from the week before with 1,102 confirmed cases.

As of Sunday, Horry County had 149 newly confirmed cases of COVID-19, DHEC reports, making the county the third highest in South Carolina in the number of cases.

SCHOOL UPDATE

Horry County Schools has less than 3,000 students in quarantine, according to Horry County Schools’ COVID Dashboard on Tuesday. Carolina Forest High School has the most students in quarantine with 192, the dashboard states. The high school also has the most active student cases with 32.

There are currently 36 active cases among staff with 104 district staff members in quarantine, according to the dashboard.

The drop in quarantine numbers across the district comes after what was a full week of some schools returning to in-person learning after making the move to virtual. Aynor Middle School returned to in-person learning on Sept. 7 while Conway High, Loris Middle, Whittemore Park Middle and Ten Oaks Middle all returned to in-person learning Sept. 13.

All five schools returned to in-person learning following the district’s move to shorten quarantine periods should schools meet certain requirements.

As of Tuesday afternoon, there are no schools within the district currently conducting virtual learning.

Last week, Coastal Carolina University extended it's mask mandate until further notice.

The university had 62 new positive student cases and 6 new employee cases between Sept. 9-15, according to its online dashboard.

HOSPITAL UPDATE

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

Conway Medical Center Spokesperson Allyson Floyd said CMC is 86% occupied as of Tuesday morning, treating a total of 43 COVID-positive patients. Of those 43 patients, 22 are in ICU and 11 are on ventilators. Floyd said 38 of the 43 COVID-positive patients are unvaccinated, while four patients are fully vaccinated and one patient is partially vaccinated.

Between Sept. 14 and Sept. 20, CMC had eight COVID-19 deaths, Floyd said, which is equivalent to the number of deaths from the week before at the hospital.

Grand Strand Regional Medical Center is currently at 100% capacity, spokesperson Katie Maclay said. GSRMC is treating 62 COVID-19 patients, with 11 on ventilators. Maclay said that GSRMC had 17 COVID-19 deaths last week, almost tripled from the seven deaths reported the week prior. The hospital system did not release information regarding the number of vaccinated and unvaccinated COVID-19 patients.

Tidelands Health is a 110% occupancy rate as of Tuesday, with its ICU occupancy at 132%, said Dawn Bryant, Tidelands' spokesperson. The hospital system has 40 patients hospitalized with COVID-10, and, of those, five patients are on ventilators.

Tidelands currently has 34 patients who are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated, with nine of those patients in ICU, Bryant said. The hospital system has six fully-vaccinated patients who are hospitalized with COVID-19, and two patients who are in ICU and two who are on ventilators.

The hospital system reported no COVID-19-related deaths between Sept. 14 and Sept. 20, Bryant said.

According to DHEC data Tuesday:

• Horry County hospitals are 89% occupied

• 628 of the county's 706 hospital beds are occupied

• 165 of the 628 beds are occupied by patients who have COVID-19

• 94 of the county's 96 ICU beds are occupied, with COVID-19 patients occupying 48 beds

• 47 of the 183 ventilators in the county are being used, with 31 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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