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SC approaches 450,000 confirmed coronavirus cases, 6 million tests

DHEC logs 1,197 new cases, 35 deaths

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COVID-19 Coronavirus Testing in Lab (copy)

A note on one of the testing instruments lets lab workers at the Medical University of South Carolina know the instrument is ready, empty, sanitized and prepped for COVID-19 test samples to be processed. File/Sarah Pack/MUSC/Provided

South Carolina is close to confirming 450,000 cases of the coronavirus out of nearly six million tests conducted across the state since the start of the pandemic.

The accumulation of new cases has slowed in recent weeks after a spike in early January.

As of Feb. 26, the state has recorded just over 7,500 deaths related to COVID-19, according to the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control.

Statewide numbers

New cases reported: 1,197 confirmed, 258 probable.

Total cases in S.C.:  444,207 confirmed, 72,616 probable.

Percent positive: 7 percent.

New deaths reported: 35 confirmed, 14 probable.

Total deaths in S.C.: 7,578 confirmed, 968 probable.

Percent of ICU beds filled: 72 percent.

How does S.C. rank in vaccines administered per 100,000 people? 

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44th as of Feb. 27, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Hardest-hit areas

In the total number of newly confirmed cases, Greenville County (173), Richland County (103) and York County (84) saw the highest totals.

What about the tri-county?

Charleston County had 78 new cases on Feb. 28, while Berkeley County counted 34 and Dorchester County had 37.

Deaths

Seven of the newly confirmed deaths were patients age 35 to 64, and the rest were patients age 65 and older.

Hospitalizations

Of the 769 COVID-19 patients hospitalized as of Feb. 28, 203 were in the ICU and 97 were using ventilators.

What do experts say?

The Food and Drug Administration recommended authorization of a third COVID-19 vaccine on Feb. 26, a step that could dramatically increase distribution across the country.

Johnson & Johnson's coronavirus vaccine is the first to work with a single dose, and doesn't require special refrigeration. The FDA's vaccine advisory committee voted unanimously to recommend the vaccine for adults.

Reach Fleming Smith at 843-937-5591. Follow her on Twitter at @MFlemingSmith.

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