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SC tallies more coronavirus cases and deaths, but percent of positive tests dips slightly

DHEC reported 706 new cases and nine deaths on Saturday

  • Updated
Covid-19 Nurses

Cases of the coronavirus at nursing homes and long-term care facilities in South Carolina are matching the overall spike in incidence of the disease at centers across the country. Of the 800 South Carolina patients hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Tuesday, 224 were in intensive care and 106 were on ventilators. Sarah Pack/MUSC/Provided

South Carolina saw a slight dip in its percent of coronavirus tests that came back positive Saturday, at 11.2 percent.

The number hovers near the Palmetto State's average for the week, which dropped from 12.9 to 11.9 percent.

Researchers say a 5 percent positive rate indicates the virus' spread is slowing, and the state Department of Health and Environmental Control is offering additional testing opportunities as testing rates have slowed over the past several weeks.

DHEC recommends people get tested once per month if they come into close contact with others in the community.

As of Saturday, there were 328 mobile testing events scheduled through Oct. 31, along with 236 permanent testing facilities. Visit scdhec.gov/covid19testing to find a testing sit near you.

Statewide numbers

New cases reported: 706, a 347 percent increase from the 158 tallied on March 31, the day Gov. Henry McMaster ordered nonessential businesses to close.

Total cases in S.C.: 134,052, plus 3,188 probable cases

New deaths reported: 9

Total deaths in S.C.: 3,017, plus 171 probable deaths

Hospitalized patients: 826

Percent of positive tests, 7-day average: 11.9 percent. Five percent of tests or fewer returning positive results is a good sign the virus' spread is slowing, researchers say.

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Total tests in S.C.: 1,218,911

Hardest-hit areas

The top three South Carolina counties for new coronavirus cases are: Richland, 79, Greenville, 68, and Lexington, 65.

What about the tri-county?

Charleston County had 58 new cases, while Berkeley had 13 and Dorchester had 29. A Charleston patient's death was also reported Saturday.

Deaths

Of the nine new deaths, eight were of elderly patients aged 65 and older, according to DHEC. One middle-aged patient, aged 35 to 64, also died. They'd lived in Anderson, Beaufort, Charleston, Florence, Greeenville, Lexington, McCormick and Richland counties.

Hospitalizations

Of 826 coronavirus patients who were hospitalized as of Saturday, DHEC said 203 were in intensive care and 121 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.

Reach Sara Coello at 843-937-5705 and follow her on Twitter @smlcoello.

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