Over a dozen new coronavirus cases were confirmed in Aiken County on Tuesday, along with one new virus-related death, according to state health authorities.
The Aiken County victim, who was elderly, was one of 19 coronavirus-related deaths reported by the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control on Tuesday.
Over 830 COVID-19 deaths have been reported in South Carolina as of July 7, including 11 deaths in Aiken County.
Aiken City Council met last week and passed a resolution encouraging the public to wear face coverings in enclosed public spaces. Over two dozen S.C. cities have implemented such ordinances, which would require masks to be worn while in public places, Aiken City Manager Stuart Bedenbaugh said during a meeting July 2.
Bedenbaugh said he would work with the city attorney to construct an ordinance for future review. He suggested the best option would be to make it an emergency ordinance, which lasts 61 days.
DHEC confirmed a total of 934 COVID-19 cases Tuesday, including 15 in Aiken County.
That is the lowest case number reported in Aiken County in over two weeks, but the percent of positive cases (almost 21%) in Tuesday's testing batch was the highest daily percent of positive cases reported by DHEC to date.
Two coronavirus cases were reported in Barnwell County, and one was reported in Edgefield County.
There are currently 1,324 hospital beds occupied by people with coronavirus or who are under investigation for having COVID-19, according to DHEC.
State hospital capacity is about 70% full as of Tuesday.
There are several upcoming free community testing clinics for COVID-19 taking place across Aiken County this month:
July 9: Aiken Regional Medical Centers in partnership with DHEC; 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Belvedere First Baptist Church, 421 Edgefield Road, North Augusta.
July 9: Rural Health Services Inc.; 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at New Beginning Ministries, 317 Williston Road, Beech Island.
July 10: Rural Health Services Inc.; 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at New Ellenton Community Center, 212 Pine Hill Ave., New Ellenton.
July 10: MUSC; 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Cyril Busbee Elementary School, 20 Corbette Circle, Wagener.
July 10: MUSC; 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Oakwood-Windsor Elementary School, 3773 Charleston Highway.
July 23: Aiken Regional Medical Centers in partnership with DHEC; 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Citizens Park, 1060 Banks Mill Road S.E.