South Carolina Announces Latest COVID-19 Update (May 8, 2020)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
May 8, 2020
COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) today announced 238 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 7,367 and those who have died to 320.
The four deaths occurred in elderly individuals in Clarendon (1), Florence (1), and Greenville (2) counties.
The number of new cases by county are listed below.
Aiken (3), Allendale (3), Anderson (3), Barnwell (3), Beaufort (4), Berkeley (1), Charleston (16), Chester (4), Chesterfield (3), Clarendon (5), Darlington (14), Dillon (6), Dorchester (1), Fairfield (2), Florence (30), Greenville (31), Greenwood (2), Horry (9), Lancaster (3), Laurens (2), Lee (12), Lexington (12), Marion (1), Marlboro (1), Oconee (4), Orangeburg (4), Pickens (1), Richland (19), Saluda (1), Spartanburg (9), Sumter (4), Union (2), Williamsburg (15), York (8)
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.
At-risk Community Outreach and Engagement Efforts
DHEC hosted a telebrief with the state’s African American publications to enlist their help in sharing prevention messages with their stakeholders. The agency relies on trusted community partners to help deliver timely and life-saving disease prevention messages to those who are most at risk for developing severe complications from COVID-19. Together, with our partners, DHEC is able to improve the quality of life for all South Carolinians.
DHEC launched a contact tracing webpage that describes how this activity is a key strategy in the fight against COVID-19. The webpage answers frequently asked questions about contact tracing, and, for those interested in joining DHEC’s Contact Tracing team, individuals are able to submit a form to receive additional information.
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, 238) divided by the total number of tests performed on that same day by both DHEC’s laboratory and private laboratories (for yesterday, 4,545), then multiplied by 100 to get the percent positive (5.2% yesterday).
When the percent positive is high, it may indicate that there isn't enough testing being performed to capture how much disease is in the community and testing may be focused on people who are more severely ill.
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.
Updated Recovery Rate
Based on the available symptom onset data we have for 5,087 of the individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19, DHEC estimates that as of May 4, 81 percent of individuals have recovered from the illness and 19 percent remain ill. This estimate is updated on our website every Tuesday and Friday.
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, 3,388 inpatient hospital beds are available and 6,622 are in use, which is a 66.15% statewide hospital bed utilization rate. Of the 6,674 inpatient beds currently used, 460 are occupied by patients who have either tested positive or are under investigation for COVID-19.
Testing in South Carolina
As of May 7, DHEC’s Public Health Laboratory has conducted 19,733 tests for COVID-19. Of these tests, 2,616 were positive and 17,117 were negative. A total of 78,290 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.
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.