South Carolina announced 28 more confirmed coronavirus deaths on Wednesday, including one in August that means no fewer than 21 patients died each day of that month.
On average, over 30 patients with coronavirus died each day in August.
Most victims have been 65 years old or over, but 15 South Carolinians in their 20s have died, as well as a couple of children under 5.
There are 344 mobile testing events available through the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control scheduled through Oct. 29, along with 236 permanent COVID-19 testing facilities in the state. Go to scdhec.gov/covid19testing for more information.
New cases reported: 489, a 210 percent increase from the 158 tallied on March 31, the day Gov. Henry McMaster ordered nonessential businesses to close.
Total cases in S.C.: 131,428, plus 2,694 probable cases
New deaths reported: 28
Total deaths in S.C.: 2,968, plus 164 probable deaths
Hospitalized patients: 784
Percent of positive tests, 7-day average: 15.2 percent. Five percent of tests or fewer returning positive results is a good sign the virus' spread is slowing, researchers say.
Total tests in S.C.: 1,172,420
Spartanburg County led the state with 61 new cases reported, according to DHEC. Richland County reported 55 and Greenville County logged 47.
What about the tri-county?
Charleston County recorded 33 new cases, while Berkeley County reported seven and Dorchester County logged 10. One Berkeley patient's death was reported on Wednesday, and officials are investigating to determine whether a Charleston victim had COVID-19.
Of the 28 new confirmed deaths, four patients were aged 35 to 64 while 24 were 65 or older. They lived in Anderson, Berkeley, Chesterfield, Darlington, Dillon, Florence, Greenville, Greenwood, Horry, Lee, Lexington, Marlboro, Newberry, Richland, Sumter, Williamsburg and York counties.
Of 784 coronavirus patients who were hospitalized as of Wednesday, DHEC said 223 were in intensive care and 136 were on ventilators.
What do experts say?
Authorities continue to urge the public to take precautions like wearing a mask in public, washing hands frequently and social distancing. They also urge anyone who is showing symptoms of COVID-19 or who may have been exposed to the virus to be tested.