COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina saw its lowest total of new cases in nearly a month and a drop in its percent positive rate in the latest numbers released by the state's health agency.
The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) Sunday announced 1,110 new confirmed cases. That's the lowest total since July 6, when 947 cases were reported. July 6 is also the only day in the last 42 days where the number of cases fell below 1,000.
There were also 27 additional confirmed deaths. This brings the total number of confirmed cases to 91,257, probable cases to 531, confirmed deaths to 1,709, and 68 probable deaths.
In the Midlands, here's at look at the new case breakdown:
Richland (91), Lexington (70), Orangeburg (38), Sumter (23), Kershaw (17), Newberry (15), Lee (9), Saluda (6), Fairfield (5), Calhoun (5), Clarendon (2)
Richland had 7 of the new confirmed deaths, with Lexington recording 3, and Calhoun and Saluda having 1 a piece. No other Midlnads counties had newly reported deaths.
The percent positive rate is at 15.2 percent. It's the third straight day it's been below 20 percent.
Testing in South Carolina
As of Saturday a total of 777,287 tests have been conducted in the state. See a detailed breakdown of tests in South Carolina on the Data and Projections webpage. DHEC’s Public Health Laboratory is operating extended hours and is testing specimens seven days a week, and the Public Health Laboratory’s current timeframe for providing results to health care providers is 24-48 hours.
The total number of individual test results reported to DHEC Saturday statewide was 7,306 (not including antibody tests) and the percent positive was 15.2%.
More Than 130 Mobile Testing Clinics Scheduled Statewide
As part of our ongoing efforts to increase testing in underserved and rural communities across the state, DHEC is working with community partners to set up mobile testing clinics that bring testing to these communities. Currently, there are 138 mobile testing events scheduled through September 29 with new testing events added regularly. Find a mobile testing clinic event near you at scdhec.gov/covid19mobileclinics.
Residents can visit scdhec.gov/covid19testing for information about getting tested at one of 215 permanent COVID-19 testing facilities across the state.
Hospital Bed Occupancy
Since July 22, the federal government has required hospitals nationwide to report data directly to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services through a new TeleTracking system, which replaces the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s National Healthcare Safety Network system that had been used by hospitals for reporting data throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently, the TeleTracking system asks hospitals to report all of their available beds as one total number, not broken down by bed type as the NHSN system had. Therefore, hospitals’ total number of beds reported includes pediatric beds, neonatal intensive care unit (ICU) bassinets, psychiatric beds, labor and delivery beds, rehabilitation beds and others. As a practical matter, not all of these bed types could be used for caring for adult patients hospitalized with COVID-19, or other medical issues.
DHEC is working with the S.C. Hospital Association to create a new process for gathering inpatient bed availability and occupancy from each hospital in the state, as this is the reporting metric that best provides the number of hospital beds available for caring for adult COVID-19 patients. We plan to have a more defined reporting system in place in the coming days.
As we continue to refine hospital bed data, with the TeleTracking system now implemented by South Carolina hospitals, DHEC is able to resume reporting of the following key information:
• ICU beds: 1,444 total; 320 available; 1,124 in use (77.84% utilization rate)
• COVID-19 patients hospitalized: 1,427; 365 in ICU; 230 ventilated