The number of people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic over in South Carolina continues to soar with new deaths and cases reported. There were 450 new cases reported as of Wednesday while 20 additional people have died from the deadly coronavirus strain. It was the most and deadliest single-day increase in the Palmetto State. Previously, the most number of COVID-19 deaths were pegged at 15.
Of the new deaths, 17 were reportedly elderly. Fairfield and Richland had three deaths each while there were two in Colleton and Horry. Beaufort, Charleston, Darlington, Florence, Lee, Orangeburg and Spartanburg had one each. Of those reported casualties, three were middle-aged and from Beaufort, Colletion and Lee counties, the State reported.
Aside from the reported deaths, there were 207 new COVID-19 cases. This raised the statewide numbers to 10,623. The largest increase in cases was a Greenville County at 21. Richland had 17 new cases while Lexington County has nine. And while the spike in numbers is alarming, it may not necessarily be telling the whole story. Department of Health and Environmental (DHEC) officials believe that the reported numbers are just a fraction of the actual number of coronavirus cases. They believe that as much as 86 percent of those who may have contracted the disease have yet to be tested or diagnosed.
As of this writing, South Carolina projects that about 75,900 of locals might have contracted the COVID-19 strain. Estimates could draw nearer the actual numbers once more tests are administered. State officials see another large spike in June, estimating another 1,400 cases per week is likely to be seen.
State officials plan to ramp up COVID-19 testing starting in May, targeting roughly 2 percent of South Carolina’s population. So far, 110,000 tests have been made this month. The 181,154 tests have been completed since the pandemic broke out in March.
Another concern is the possible surge in cases with businesses starting to reopen. With more people out, the second wave of infections is expected. Governor Henry McMaster has slowly tried to restart the economy with most being reminded to continue the guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This includes wearing protective gear like face masks and strictly observing social distancing. There are also plans to bump up contact tracing with DHEC planning to hire more staff.