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Sumter COVID-19 cases trending downward

State health officials say mask wearing has contributed to the drop in cases statewide, but there’s still work to do and more testing is needed.

SUMTER, S.C. — Over the past few weeks COVID-19 cases have been trending downward across the state, including in Sumter.

The area was once considered high risk but now has a moderately high incidence rate, according to recent data from the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC). According to DHEC, this means that the area is trending downward. 

For more information concerning different counties in the state or trend data, click here.

For the most recent cases by county and ZIP code, click here.

Credit: DHEC, WLTX
Sumter case count

RELATED: DHEC tracking speed of virus spread in South Carolina to determine school reopenings

At Colonial Healthcare in Sumter, Dr. Clay Lowder said he’s seen improvement over the last couple of weeks.

“We’re seeing a lot less sick people… I think we have a lot of hope right now over in Sumter that we’re doing a good job with this,” Dr. Lowder said. “We were up to 200 to 250 drive-thru tests a day, and then it seems like the last two weeks it’s really fallen off.”

Prisma Health, which has a hospital in Sumter, said they’ve also seen a decline in coronavirus patients across their system.

According to state health officials, mask wearing has contributed to the drop in cases, but there’s still work to do. More testing is needed and people should continue to practice social distancing and avoid large gathers to reduce the spread. 

According to Dr. Lowder, flu season is also a concern.

“We’re really, really concerned about flu and corona together,” Dr. Lowder said. “We don’t know what that’s going to look like…. We’re worried, if you get the flu and then corona and your immune system’s weak, then it’s a risk. We’re encouraging flu shots right now.”

RELATED: Face masks work, are slowing virus in South Carolina, data shows

The Sumter School District still plans to start virtually on August 28.

The district is monitoring cases in the area and will reevaluate every two weeks from when school starts to decide when students can return in-person.