South Carolina confirmed another 4,576 new coronavirus cases Saturday, bringing the state to over 320,000 cases as it approached 4 million COVID-19 tests.
It's only the second day that the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control has confirmed more than 4,500 new cases, and it comes one day after Friday's record of 4,986.
Over 50,000 new cases have been confirmed in the past two weeks, just a fraction of the time — over four months — that it took the Palmetto State to rack up its first 50,000 cases.
New cases reported: 4,576, which is 2,796 percent higher than the 158 tallied on March 31, the day Gov. Henry McMaster ordered nonessential businesses to close.
Total cases in S.C.: 320,105, plus 29,979 probable cases
New deaths reported: 52
Total deaths in S.C.: 5,267 confirmed, 491 probable
Total tests in S.C.: 3,995,219
Hospitalized patients: 2,383
Percent of positive tests, 7-day average: 31.5 percent. Five percent of tests or fewer returning positive results is a good sign the virus' spread is slowing, researchers say.
According to data from DHEC, the top counties for new coronavirus cases reported Saturday were Greenville, 723; Richland, 348; and Spartanburg, 312.
What about tri-county?
Charleston County had 250 new cases; Berkeley, 121; and Dorchester, 107.
Two of the 52 deaths reported Saturday were patients aged 35 to 64, and the rest were 65 and older.
They lived in Aiken, Charleston, Chesterfield, Dorchester, Florence, Greenville, Horry, Jasper, Kershaw, Lancaster, lee, Lexington, Marion, Oconee, Pickens, Richland, Spartanburg and York counties.
Of the 2,383 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 on Saturday, 457 were in intensive care and 243 were on ventilators.
What do experts say?
Authorities continue to urge South Carolinians to take precautions, such as wearing masks or other face coverings, social distancing and frequently washing hands.
They also urge anyone who believes they’ve been exposed to the virus or who is developing symptoms to get tested. Those out in the community or not able to socially distance should get tested monthly, DHEC advised.
Go to scdhec.gov/findatest to find a testing site in your area.