South Carolina recorded 1,777 new coronavirus cases on Thanksgiving, the highest daily tally that the state has logged since July.
The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control had urged people to get tested before traveling or gathering for the holiday, and reported results from over 14,000 tests.
It’s the first day that DHEC has enacted its new policy of reporting new numbers the day after they’re gathered.
New cases reported: 1,777, which is 1,024 percent higher than the 158 tallied on March 31, the day Gov. Henry McMaster ordered nonessential businesses to close.
Total cases in S.C.: 199,538, plus 13,582 probable cases
New deaths reported: 28
Total deaths in S.C.: 4,043 confirmed, 303 probable
Total tests in S.C.: 2,639,859
Hospitalized patients: 884
Percent of positive tests, seven-day average: 12.4 percent. Five percent of tests or fewer returning positive results is a good sign the virus’ spread is slowing, researchers say.
The top South Carolina counties for new coronavirus cases on Friday were Greenville, 256; Charleston, 167; and Spartanburg, 134.
What about tri-county?
Charleston County reported 167 new cases, Berkeley logged 57, and Dorchester reported 36.
Of the 28 new deaths reported, five were middle-aged patients aged 35 to 64, and 23 were elderly patients 65 or older.
They lived in Anderson, Cherokee, Fairfield, Florence, Greenville, Horry, Kershaw, Lexington, Marlboro, Newberry, Pickens, Richland, Saluda, Spartanburg, Sumter and York counties.
Of the 884 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Friday, 236 were in intensive care and 119 were on ventilators.
What do experts say?
Authorities continue to urge South Carolinians to take precautions such as wearing masks or other face coverings, social distancing and frequently washing hands.
They also urge anyone who believes they’ve been exposed to the virus or who is developing symptoms to get tested. Those out in the community or not able to socially distance should get tested monthly, DHEC advised.
Go to scdhec.gov/findatest to find a testing site in your area.
Reach Sara Coello at 843-937-5705 and follow her on Twitter @smlcoello.