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DHEC: 140 new virus cases, 15 new deaths in South Carolina

This brings the total number of people confirmed to have COVID-19 in South Carolina to 7,792 and those who have died to 346.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — On Monday, the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) announced 140 new cases of the novel coronavirus COVID-19, and 15 additional deaths.

This brings the total number of people confirmed to have COVID-19 in South Carolina to 7,792 and those who have died to 346.

Eleven of those deaths occurred in elderly individuals in Charleston (1), Clarendon (1), Florence (1), Hampton (1), Lancaster (1), Lexington (3), and Richland (3) counties. Four of the deaths occurred in middle-aged individuals in Fairfield (1), Florence (2), and Sumter (1) counties.

The number of new cases by county are listed below.

Aiken (1), Allendale (1), Anderson (1), Beaufort (1), Berkeley (3), Charleston (10), Chester (3), Chesterfield (1), Clarendon (2), Darlington (5), Dillon (7), Dorchester (2), Fairfield (1), Florence (21), Georgetown (1), Greenville (13), Greenwood (1), Horry (5), Kershaw (4), Lancaster (1), Laurens (1), Lee (9), Lexington (6), Marion (1), Marlboro (2), Richland (19), Saluda (3), Spartanburg (3), Sumter (3), Union (1), Williamsburg (5), York (3)

DHEC’s COVID-19 webpage is updated daily with a map of positive cases as well as the most current recommendations for protecting against COVID-19.

RELATED: South Carolina hair salons, barbershops, gyms to reopen May 18

DHEC Reaches Goal to Identify 1,000 Contact Tracers

As South Carolina enhances its testing efforts, DHEC set a goal with its AccelerateSC partners to identify 1,000 contact tracers by May 31. On Monday, DHEC says it met that goal.

Contact tracing is a disease control measure that helps stop the spread of diseases like COVID-19 by identifying close contacts of people who tested positive for an illness. During normal operations, DHEC employs 20 contact tracers but has increased that number to more than 400 as part of the agency’s COVID-19 response. 

RELATED: Reopening the country could require thousands more public health workers

On Monday, DHEC says it has retained an additional 1,400 contact tracers through contracts with two private staffing companies, Apple One and C-Trace. Additionally, since DHEC created a contact tracing webpage on May 8, 667 members of the public have expressed interest in receiving training to become one.

DHEC Opens Additional Free COVID-19 Mobile Testing Clinics

DHEC currently has 14 mobile testing clinics scheduled across the state, with more planned in the coming days. The screening and specimen collections are free for residents and are part of DHEC’s ongoing efforts to increase testing in underserved and rural communities across the state. 

RELATED: DHEC launches new COVID-19 mobile testing clinics

To find a mobile testing clinic near you, visit DHEC’s mobile testing clinic webpage. Locations are regularly added to the webpage as new information is provided.

Testing for COVID-19 in S.C. Nursing Homes

On Monday, DHEC began the first of three phases of testing in South Carolina nursing homes. As announced May 6, DHEC will test approximately 40,000 residents and staff members at the state’s 194 nursing homes. An estimated 15,000 residents and staff at 74 facilities are part of this initial round of testing. 

RELATED: South Carolina to test all nursing home residents and staff for COVID-19

Results of the testing will be reflected in the impacted facilities list on DHEC’s COVID-19 demographics page. The list is updated twice weekly, on Tuesdays and Fridays.

DHEC Releases Updated Summary and Projections

On Monday, DHEC provided an updated summary regarding cases confirmed to date as well as projections through May 30. The projections currently indicate that South Carolina may see a drop from approximately 1,000 new cases per week to 900 new cases per week by the end of May. 

The total number of cases is estimated to grow to 10,493 confirmed cases during the last week of May.

For the latest information about bed utilization rates, testing, telehealth options and more, please visit our website at scdhec.gov/COVID-19.

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