DHEC releases graphics showing new trends, updated projections for COVID-19 in SC


COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) – The Department of Health and Environmental Control released new data conceptualizing the impact of COVID-19 in SC on Monday.

According to DHEC, the number of daily positive cases is divided by the number of daily tests conducted, then multiplied by 100, to get the percent positive rate. The percent positive rate is helpful because it “assists [DHEC] in comparing the number of tests conducted and increases in overall testing.”

A high percent positive indicates “more tests are being used to confirm severely symptomatic cases,” while a low percent positive indicates “large volumes of tests are being performed and…widespread testing is occurring.”

Graphs depicting the percent positive trends in SC over a two-week period and a 28-day period indicate widespread testing in SC.

The highest percent positive was reported on April 21, at 24.6%. On May 3, the percent positive dropped to the lowest level of 4.4%.

Additionally, DHEC has released projections that contrast the ongoing strategy in SC. According to DHEC, the ideal time to relax some social distancing measures would be June 16. This is assuming mitigation measures such as testing, contact tracing, and limiting gathering size are kept in place.

Assuming full social distancing through May, DHEC predicts the COVID-19 related daily death count in SC could be reduced to zero by July.

Currently, SC is in the beginning stages of a phased economic reopening, so these projections are not in line with reality. DHEC has not released projections for what they expect to happen given the current path.

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