News Releases

News Releases

South Carolina Announces Latest COVID-19 Update (May 5, 2020)

May 5, 2020


COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) today announced 93 new cases of the novel coronavirus COVID-19, and 13 additional deaths.

This brings the total number of people confirmed to have COVID-19 in South Carolina to 6,841 and those who have died to 296.

Twelve of those deaths occurred in elderly individuals in Beaufort (1), Berkeley (3), Charleston (1), Richland (5), Williamsburg (1), and York (1) counties, and one death occurred in a middle-aged individual in Florence County (1).

The number of new cases by county are listed below.
Allendale (3), Anderson (1), Barnwell (2), Beaufort (1), Charleston (2), Chesterfield (1), Clarendon (5), Darlington (5), Fairfield (3), Florence (6), Greenville (3), Greenwood (2), Horry (6), Kershaw (2), Lancaster (1), Laurens (1), Lee (1), Lexington (11), Marion (1), Marlboro (1), Oconee (2), Orangeburg (3), Pickens (2), Richland (12), Saluda (2), Spartanburg (3), Sumter (7), Williamsburg (2), York (2)

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.

Expanding Testing to Rural Communities
Today, 464 residents were tested for COVID-19 at a free mobile clinic in Darlington County, through a partnership between DHEC and Care South Carolina. The screening and specimen collection is part of DHEC’s ongoing efforts to increase testing in underserved and rural communities across the state. Find photos of the free mobile clinic on DHEC's Twitter and Facebook accounts.

Percent Positive Test Trends Among Reported COVID-19 Cases
As South Carolina increases testing, there will likely be more laboratory-confirmed cases. DHEC today released new graphs showing trends in the percent of cases of COVID-19 relative to the number of tests performed during the last 28 and 14 days, respectively. The calculation is a result of the number of positive tests reported in a day (for yesterday, 93) divided by the total number of tests performed on that same day by both DHEC’s laboratory and private laboratories (for yesterday, 1,001), then multiplied by 100 to get the percent positive (9.3% yesterday).

When the percent positive is high, it means targeted testing is occurring of symptomatic individuals. If large volumes of tests are being performed and the percent positive is low, it indicates widespread testing is occurring throughout the state.

Updated Demographic Data
Today’s web update includes updated demographic data for positive cases and deaths related to COVID-19. Monitoring demographic information can help direct information and resources to high-risk populations and identify any disparities that need further investigation or focus.

Hospital Bed Capacity
As of this morning, 3,241 hospital beds are available and 6,415 are in use, which is a 64.44% statewide hospital bed utilization rate. Of the 6,415 beds currently used, 447 are occupied by patients who have either tested positive or are under investigation for COVID-19.

Today’s higher percentage of statewide hospital bed utilization is due to the inclusion of data reporting from 11 non-acute care facilities who are treating COVID-19 patients. Previously, only 67 acute hospitals reported this information.

Testing in South Carolina
As of May 5, DHEC’s Public Health Laboratory has conducted 17,651 tests for COVID-19. Of these tests, 2,350 were positive and 15,301 were negative. A total of 68,766 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.

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.

*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.





COVID-19 Media Relations Statewide