With surge, COVID hospitalizations more than double in 2 weeks in SC, DHEC data shows

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The number of people hospitalized in South Carolina by coronavirus has increased by more than 100%, according to statistics from the state’s Department of Health and Environment Control.

At least 453 people were reported hospitalized as of Tuesday, the last day of reporting, DHEC data shows. That’s almost a 136% increase from two weeks ago when 192 people were hospitalized.

The increasing hospitalizations come as South Carolina deals with a surge of COVID-19 that’s reaching levels not had since February.

From July 26 to 30, DHEC reported 7,529 new COVID cases. That’s about 1,506 a day. The agency reported 26 deaths.

The percent of positive tests show that the virus is spreading in the state. An average of about 13% of tests came back positive in the week, according to DHEC.

The CDC says a positivity rate consistently below 5% means the virus spread is slowing in a community. Anything above that percent means the virus is likely spreading.

This makes the fourth weeks of increasing coronavirus indicators. DHEC warned that the state could experience a spike in coronavirus cases because of a combination of low vaccination rates and the spread of the delta variant.

The State reported that 94% of new COVID-19 cases were diagnosed in unvaccinated people. Unvaccinated people also account for the vast majority of people who are hospitalized with COVID-19 and die of the disease.

Known cases of the delta variant double week over week, according to DHEC. This week, DHEC had 140 confirmed cases of the delta variant, compared to 70 the week before. While diagnosing a person with coronavirus can be done in minutes, figuring out if the virus is the delta variant takes much longer. DHEC suspects that most new cases in the state are the delta variant.

Almost 20,000 more people were reported to have completed vaccination as of Wednesday, the last day reported by DHEC. Nearly 1.91 million people are vaccinated in South Carolina. That’s about 45% of the state’s residents.

At least 617,148 people have tested positive for the coronavirus in South Carolina and 9,904 have died since March 2020, according to DHEC.

To learn how to book a COVID-19 vaccine appointment, visit The State’s website.

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