In South Carolina, the total number of people confirmed to have COVID-19 in South Carolina is closing in on 16,000 with at least 600 deaths. State Epidemiologist Linda Bell sounded the alarm about COVID-19 in the state because South Carolina has seen a drastic uptick in cases in recent weeks. “Today I am more concerned about COVID-19 in South Carolina than I have ever been before,” said Bell.
While state health officials expected to find more cases as testing increased, the increase in known cases has happened quicker than expected — so much so that the recovery rate for known cases has dropped — while the percentage of tests returning positive has steadily increased for more than three weeks. The state also had its highest level of hospitalization associated with the virus. All of this points to what is likely the highest level of disease activity the state has seen, although we aren’t at a point where hospitals are at or beyond capacity for patients.
Officials stressed again that social distancing and wearing masks are key to reducing the spread of COVID-19 while saying it is clear that many in the state aren’t following these practices. Steps we can take to protect ourselves and others include:
- Practicing social distancing
- Wearing a mask in public
- Avoiding group gatherings
- Regularly washing your hands
- Staying home if sick