News Releases

News Releases

South Carolina Announces Latest COVID-19 Update (June 17, 2020)

June 17, 2020


COLUMBIA, S.C. — This week, the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control is beginning to report probable cases and probable deaths in regard to COVID-19. This makes South Carolina the 23rd state in the country to follow recent recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to report this information.

There are currently zero probable deaths in the state, and five cumulative probable cases: June 14, York County (1); June 15, Lexington (1) and Richland (1) counties; June 16, Richland County (2). This new information is available on our Testing Data & Projections webpage.

A confirmed case is an individual who had a confirmatory viral test performed by way of a throat or nose swab and that specimen tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, which is the virus that causes COVID-19. A positive viral test, also called a PCR test or molecular test, alone is enough to classify a confirmed case.

  • A probable case is an individual who has not had a confirmatory viral test performed but has:
  1. epidemiologic evidence and clinical evidence of infection, or
  2. a positive antibody blood test and either epidemiologic evidence or clinical evidence. (A positive antibody test alone is currently not a reliable method for diagnosing a COVID-19 infection.)
  • A confirmed death is someone whose death is related to COVID-19 and who tested positive with a confirmatory viral test for COVID-19.
  • A probable death is an individual whose death certificate lists COVID-19 disease or SARS-CoV-2 as a cause of death or a significant condition contributing to death but did not undergo confirmatory viral testing.

A new webpage provides information about probable cases and deaths and will be updated to reflect the most current CDC recommendations for reporting this new information.

Latest COVID-19 Update (June 17, 2020)
The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) today announced 577 new confirmed cases and two new probable cases of the novel coronavirus COVID-19, and 10 additional confirmed deaths.

This brings the total number of people confirmed cases to 20,551, probable cases to 5, confirmed deaths to 617, and zero probable deaths.

Nine of the deaths occurred in elderly individuals from Beaufort (1), Berkeley (1), Colleton (1), Greenville (1), Horry (1), Lancaster (1), Lexington (2), and York (1) counties, and one (1) death occurred in an middle-aged individual from Charleston County. There are currently no probable deaths.

The number of new confirmed cases by county are listed below.
Aiken (6), Anderson (7), Beaufort (29), Berkeley (5), Calhoun (1), Charleston (35), Chester (2), Chesterfield (2), Cherokee (2), Colleton (2), Clarendon (6), Darlington (6), Dillon (4), Dorchester (8), Fairfield (2), Florence (22), Georgetown (22), Greenville (77), Greenwood (5), Horry (120), Jasper (1), Kershaw (10), Lancaster (11), Laurens (5), Lexington (35), Marion (5), Marlboro (4), Newberry (2), Oconee (3), Orangeburg (6), Pickens (20), Richland (57), Saluda (2), Spartanburg (22), Sumter (5), Williamsburg (7), York (19)

The number of new probable cases are listed below.

Richland (2)

Testing in South Carolina
As of yesterday, a total of 304,431 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. The Public Health Laboratory’s current timeframe for providing results to health care providers is 24-48 hours.

Percent Positive Test Trends among Reported COVID-19 Cases
The total number of individuals tested yesterday statewide was 4,409 (not including antibody tests) and the percent positive was 13.1%. When the percent positive is low, it may indicate that more widespread testing is being performed and the percent positive may more accurately reflect how much disease is present in the community.

More than 75 Mobile Testing Clinics Scheduled Statewide
As part of our ongoing efforts to increase testing in underserved and rural communities across the state, DHEC is working with community partners to set up mobile testing clinics that bring testing to these communities. Currently, there are 78 mobile testing events scheduled through July 18 with new testing events added regularly. Find a mobile testing clinic event near you at

Residents can also get tested at one of 173 permanent COVID-19 testing facilities across the state. Visit for more information.

Hospital Bed Occupancy
As of this morning, 3,087 inpatient hospital beds are available and 7,411 are in use, which is a 70.59% statewide hospital bed utilization rate. Of the 7,411 inpatient beds currently used, 607 are occupied by patients who have either tested positive or are under investigation for COVID-19.

How South Carolinians Can Stop the Spread
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. Steps we can take to protect ourselves and others include:

  • Practicing social distancing
  • Wearing a mask in public
  • Avoiding group gatherings
  • Regularly washing your hands
  • Staying home if sick

For the latest information related to COVID-19 visit Visit 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.



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