Colleton County, S.C. (WCBD) – While neighboring areas have stabilized or decreased infection rates Colleton County continues to see an increase in infection rates while also seeing a decrease in testing turnout.
Across the Lowcountry, African Americans are disproportionately affected by COVID-19. In Colleton County, 37% of the population is African American but makes up 58% of the positive cases, and 60% of COVID-related deaths.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Colleton County has consistently had a lower testing turnout than surrounding areas, while having a higher percent positivity rate which continues to grow.
Colleton County has one of the highest positivity rates in the region.
In Colleton County 20% of the population lives in poverty and 18% are uninsured.
Doctor Katy Richardson, Regional Medical Director with Lowcountry Public Health Region of DHEC, says they are mainly seeing the ones most ill.
“Testing is particularly important in any at-risk community not only in African Americans but those that are older and those who may have chronic conditions,” Richardson stated.
In total, Colleton County has more than one thousand confirmed positive COVID cases and 42 confirmed deaths.
DHEC officials say you should be tested if you are symptomatic, have been exposed to someone who tested positive, and once a month if you are consistently out and about in the community.
“Unless we identify cases, we’re not able to then provide the education and guidance around isolation and quarantine that stops that spread from moving further out into the community,” mentioned Richardson.
DHEC will hold free COVID testing on Thursday and Friday at the Colleton County Health Department. Visit DHEC’s website for more information on free testing.