South Carolina Announces Latest COVID-19 Update (April 20, 2020)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
April 20, 2020
COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) today announced 64 new cases of the novel coronavirus COVID-19, and 4 additional deaths.
This brings the total number of people confirmed to have COVID-19 in South Carolina to 4,439 and those who have died to 124.
Of those four deaths, one was an elderly individual with underlying health conditions from Lancaster County (1); one was an elderly individual, with no known underlying conditions, from Kershaw County (1); one was a middle-aged individual with underlying health conditions from Edgefield County (1); and one was a middle-aged individual, with no known underlying health conditions, from Clarendon County (1).
The number of new cases by county are listed below.
Aiken (1), Anderson (2), Barnwell (1), Beaufort (1), Charleston (2), Cherokee (1), Clarendon (8),
Darlington (5), Dillon (2), Florence (4), Greenville (5), Horry (1), Kershaw (3), Lexington (4), Marlboro (1),
Orangeburg (1), Richland (4), Spartanburg (7), Sumter (3), Williamsburg (4), York (4)
Of the 4,377 total cases announced yesterday, two have been determined upon collecting additional information to be residents of other states and have been assigned to those states.
DHEC’s COVID-19 webpage is updated daily with a map of positive cases as well as the most current recommendations for protecting against COVID-19.
DHEC Releases Updated Summary and Projections
DHEC today provided an updated summary regarding cases confirmed to date as well as projections through May 9. On March 6 the first COVID-19 case was confirmed in South Carolina. The projections currently indicate that South Carolina may see almost 750 new cases per week by early May. The total number of cases is estimated to grow to 6,953 confirmed cases on May 9.
Testing in South Carolina
As of April 20, DHEC’s Public Health Laboratory has conducted 12,248 tests for COVID-19. Of these tests, 1,506 were positive and 10,742 were negative. A total of 41,277 total tests by both DHEC’s Public Health Laboratory and private labs have been conducted in the state. DHEC’s Public Health Laboratory is operating extended hours and is testing specimens seven days a week. The Public Health Laboratory’s current timeframe for providing results to health care providers is 24-48 hours.
Hospital Bed Capacity
As of this morning, 5,150 hospital beds are available and 6,201 are utilized, which is a 54.6% statewide hospital bed utilization rate. Today, DHEC provided the hospital bed capacity utilization by region and county on its website.
Cases by County and ZIP Code
DHEC’s interactive maps were updated to include the latest confirmed and estimated COVID-19 cases by county and ZIP code. The estimated cases represent possible cases based on evidence that for every known case of COVID-19, there could be up to 9 people with the virus who remain unidentified in the community. By including estimates, we hope to better convey the risk of disease spread within our communities.
How South Carolinians Can Protect Themselves
Evidence is increasing about the high rates of infection in people who do not have symptoms and don’t know they are infectious. This places everyone at risk of getting the virus or unknowingly transmitting it to someone else. South Carolinians are encouraged to stay home and minimize contact with people outside their households to prevent the spread of the disease. Other steps the public should take include:
- Practicing social distancing
- Wearing a mask while out in public
- Avoiding touching frequently touched items
- Regularly washing your hands
- Monitoring for symptoms
Anyone with concerns about their health should reach out to their healthcare provider or use the telehealth services provided by several health care systems. For telehealth options and the latest information about DHEC’s COVID-19 response efforts, please 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.