COLUMBIA, SC (WSPA)- The Department of Health and Environmental Control predicts thousands of South Carolinians could have the coronavirus by May.
Recently released data from DHEC predicts that by next week there could be more than 2500 cases of coronavirus in the state.
“We have now moved from disease containment strategy to disease mitigation strategy. our goal is to now monitor the disease spread in a community and not identify every case,” explained Dr. Linda Bell, SC DHEC’s lead epidemiologist.
A South Carolina biologist also came up with his own predictions. James Morris, a distinguished professor at the University of South Carolina has been examining the data. “We need predictions like this so we can prepare. We do not want what’s happening in Italy where they have run out of space in the hospitals.”
According to DHEC, if the state does see those predicted numbers, medical facilities and hospitals are prepared to handle a rapid rise in cases.
“We have 5260 beds open. We’re running about 57% capacity. We have 1260 ventilators. We have reported 180 in use at this time. We have requested 180 from the national stockpile,” said Dr. Rick Toomey, the director of SC DHEC.
But scientists like Morris fear if more extreme measures aren’t taken to keep people isolated resources will become scarce.
“We need to start looking for alternative sites where we could put overflow patients.. Where would you put additional beds to house people that are not so terribly ill but need to be quarantined?”
DHEC also announced an additional 82 cases of coronavirus in the state.
According to the CDC, 80% of the cases will not have to be hospitalized and as we progress each day early reported cases are improving.