COVID-19 in SC: Demographic update


COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) – DHEC has released an analysis of COVID-19 data compiled as of May 11, 2020.



The first two weeks of April saw a dramatic increase in COVID-19 cases, nearing 1,300 over the week of April 11. Since then, cases have remained below 1,200, with the lowest number of weekly cases since March reported over the week of May 9.

DHEC reports that the average age of a COVID-19 patient is 50.3 , with the majority of cases appearing in individuals ages 51-60. Cases have been reported in patients as young as less than one month old, and as old as 105 years old.

Of note, the age group with the most prevalence of infection has a death rate of only 8.2%. The majority of deaths occur in those over 81 years old. Over half of all reported COVID-19 related deaths were in individuals over 71 years old. However, the average age of patients that died of COVID-19 related causes is 75.1.

According to DHEC, 13% more women have tested positive for COVID-19 than men. However, 4% more men have died from COVID-19 related causes than women.

While African Americans represent only 45% of the cases reported to DHEC, they account for 54% of COVID-19 related deaths. This is in comparison to the 44% of COVID-19 cases represented by whites, who account for 40% of COVID-19 related deaths. This data indicates that around 4.29% of whites infected with COVID-19 will die, compared to roughly 5.67% of blacks.

Other notable findings include DHEC’s report that based upon data collected between April 3 and May 11, 844 healthcare workers statewide have tested positive for COVID-19.

DHEC concluded that overall, available data suggests an 86% recovery rate for patients diagnosed with COVID-19. DHEC’s criteria for recovery is as follows:

  • Hospitalized individuals: No reported adverse outcome as of >32 days since onset of illness.
  • Hospitalization unknown: No reported adverse outcome as of >32 days since onset of illness.
  • Non-hospitalized individuals: No reported adverse outcome as of >14 days since onset of illness.

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