More than 4,000 South Carolinians have now died as a result of COVID-19, the state’s public health agency reported Tuesday.
State health officials announced 1,374 new coronavirus cases and 23 additional deaths Tuesday, bringing the state’s death toll to 4,010.
Since testing began in March, 196,330 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, according to the state’s Department of Health and Environmental Control. Tuesday’s data is based on 10,407 tests, of which 13.2% came back positive, DHEC said.
Testing has ramped up considerably in the past week, exceeding 10,000 in four of the last five days after averaging around 8,000 daily in the week prior. DHEC said Monday that some popular testing sites have been processing more than 100 people per hour in the past couple weeks. As more South Carolinians have been tested, the rate of positive tests has decreased, but remains well above the 5% rate that many public health agencies aim for.
Percent positive rates provide an idea of how widespread coronavirus infection is in a testing area, with higher numbers indicating there are likely more people infected with COVID-19 in the community who have not been tested and who may unwittingly spread the disease to others. DHEC urges anyone who is symptomatic or who has been exposed to someone with COVID-19 to get tested themselves, and recommends routine monthly testing for anyone who is out and about in the community, even if they are asymptomatic.
To find a testing location near you, visit DHEC’s website at scdhec.gov/covid19/covid-19-testing-locations.