DHEC Updates COVID-19 Testing Recommendations; South Carolina Announces Latest COVID-19 Update (August 30, 2020)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
August 30, 2020
COLUMBIA, S.C. — Today, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) announced updated recommendations for COVID-19 testing.
“DHEC continues to emphasize the importance of testing,“ said Dr. Brannon Traxler, DHEC Physician. “While many people with COVID-19 have mild or no symptoms, it is still possible that they could be infected and pass the disease to friends, family and loved ones. Meanwhile, others don't know that they've been in close contact (within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes) with someone with confirmed COVID-19. Therefore, we continue to provide no out-of-pocket costs community testing events open to anyone who would like to be tested.”
DHEC encourages anyone who would like to be tested to get tested. In addition, DHEC recommends routine testing of individuals with known exposures or concerns about exposures. Routine testing allows public health workers to diagnose those who are asymptomatic and interrupt the ongoing spread of the virus.
“If you are out and about in the community or around others, participating in group events, or not able to socially distance or wear a mask, we recommend that you receive routine testing once a month or sooner if someone you’ve been around tests positive or if you develop symptoms,” said Dr. Traxler.
You should also get tested if:
- You’re having any of these symptoms:
- Fever or chills
- Sore throat
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- New loss of taste or smell
- Muscle or body aches
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
- Your doctor or health care provider recommends it for you.
- You live with or have been around someone that:
- has recently tested positive,
- suspects they may have COVID-19, or
- is having symptoms of COVID-19.
- You were within 6 feet of others for more than 15 minutes without wearing a face mask.
Help protect yourself and others by preventing the spread of COVID-19 in our communities by getting tested. Find a free testing event near you at scdhec.gov/GetTested.
Latest COVID-19 Update (August 30, 2020)
DHEC today announced 1,019 new confirmed cases and 28 new probable cases of the novel coronavirus COVID-19, 11 additional confirmed deaths and zero new probable deaths.
This brings the total number of confirmed cases to 116,697, probable cases to 1,627, confirmed deaths to 2,574, and 135 probable deaths.
There Are 460 Testing Opportunities Available Statewide
Testing for COVID-19 is essential because it helps identify people who are infected with the virus, whether or not they have symptoms, so they can isolate themselves and keep those around them from becoming infected, especially at-risk individuals who can develop life-threatening illness if they contract the virus. Identifying those with COVID-19 who have symptoms helps ensure they receive the medical treatment they need.
DHEC is working with community partners to set up mobile testing clinics and make testing available in communities across the state. Currently, there are 237 mobile testing events scheduled through October 17 and there are 223 permanent COVID-19 testing facilities across the state. Find a testing clinic or event near you at scdhec.gov/covid19testing.
Testing in South Carolina
As of yesterday, a total of 1,006,606 tests have been conducted in the state. See a detailed breakdown of tests in South Carolina on the Data and Projections webpage. DHEC’s Public Health Laboratory is operating extended hours and is testing specimens seven days a week, and the Public Health Laboratory’s current timeframe for providing results to health care providers is 24-48 hours.
The total number of individual test results reported to DHEC yesterday statewide was 4,730 (not including antibody tests) and the percent positive was 21.5%.
DHEC Improves Online Reporting of COVID-19 Data
On Aug. 11, DHEC unveiled a new county-level online resource that provides detailed county-level data and a localized look at the impacts of COVID-19 in South Carolina. Because the county-level dashboard consolidates so many different data sets into one online resource, in order to avoid confusion and reduce the production of duplicated information on Aug. 28, the agency began referring the public to the county-level dashboard for data sets such as cases by ZIP code, percent positive statewide and for each county, demographic data, and chronic health conditions information.
No data or information that had previously been provided is being taken away or reduced. The same information – and more – is available on the county-level dashboard.
Hospital Bed Occupancy
Hospitals report their information each day to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services by way of TeleTracking, and that same reporting is also provided to DHEC. Click here to view data from today's TeleTracking report.
For the latest information related to COVID-19 visit scdhec.gov/COVID-19. Visit scdmh.net for stress, anxiety and mental health resources from the S.C. Department of Mental Health.
*As new information is provided to the department, some changes in cases may occur. Cases are reported based on the person’s county of residence, as it is provided to the department. DHEC’s COVID-19 map will adjust to reflect any reclassified cases.