DHEC Reports 194 New COVID-19 Patients in Horry County as Hospitalizations Rise | Covid-19 coverage
The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control announced 1,723 new cases of COVID-19 in South Carolina on Thursday, including 194 in Horry County.
“This is our second-highest report of new cases in a single day in South Carolina,” said DHEC Director of Public Health Dr Joan Duwve.
The agency also announced 22 other deaths linked to the disease, including three in Horry County. Deaths are reported as DHEC becomes aware of them and does not mean that every death occurred within 24 hours of the announcement.
This brings the cumulative total of Horry County cases to 5,203 with 55 deaths and South Carolina’s total to 50,548 cases with 898 deaths.
More than 20% of the 8,350 samples tested yesterday returned positive for COVID-19.
As of Thursday morning, of the 8,058 occupied hospital beds in the state, there were 1,433 beds containing COVID-19 patietns. The capacity of the Horry County Hospital was almost 87% full, with 99 beds available.
Public health experts say the high percentage of COVID-19 tests coming back positive and the growing number of hospitalizations indicate a sicker population, and Tidelands Health is starting to worry about the capacity.
Statewide, 172 COVID-19 patients were on ventilators, Duwve said.
Tidelands said that on June 18, three patients were hospitalized with COVID-19. But on Wednesday, the health system had 47 patients hospitalized for COVID-19, and 10 more hospitalized and awaiting test results. As of Wednesday, the capacity of the healthcare system’s intensive care beds was 96%.
And the percentage of young people hospitalized for COVID-19 is increasing.
From the start of the pandemic to June 15, two-thirds of Tidelands’ COVID-19 hospitalizations were people over 65.
Since then, more than half of hospitalizations have involved people under the age of 65.
As of June 15, 38% of hospital patients were between 41 and 64, 10% were between 26 and 40 and 2% were under 25, Tidelands said.
“Do not think that this virus only affects the elderly – it is not true. Don’t think it’s like the flu – it’s not true either, ”said Tidelands VP of Medical Affairs Dr. Gerald Harmon. “We need the people of our region to recognize this threat and take it seriously. Wear a mask, wash your hands, observe social distances, and avoid large gatherings. These simple steps will help you protect yourself, your loved ones, and the health care resources in our community.
To respond to shrinking hospital capacity, Tidelands is increasing its staff to keep pace.
“We are approaching this in a number of ways, including: reallocating staff within our healthcare system to support areas that need it most; provide incentive compensation to current staff who take additional shifts; vigorously recruit to fill vacancies; securing additional temporary nurses from staffing agencies; and temporarily reschedule elective inpatient surgeries to redirect those staff resources, ”Tidelands Health spokesperson Dawn Bryant said in an email.
“In collaboration with the South Carolina Hospital Association, we are also exploring the availability of National Guard clinical professionals to support our efforts, as has happened in other states facing a COVID-19 outbreak. Added Bryant. “This multifaceted approach allows us to respond effectively to the increase in hospitalizations related to COVID-19 that is occurring in our region.”
the South Carolina Hospital Association Helped develop a contingency plan in case things went wrong. Some of the ideas found in the plan include the use of hotels, colosseum and closed hospitals to accommodate less severe patients.
So far, hospitals have developed their own surge plans, and the state is not quite ready to send patents to hotels.
“We have been in contact with all the hospitals. Tidelands has made a request for resources from EMD to support staffing, “South Carolina Emergency Management Division spokesman Derrec Becker said, adding that the department may seek help. from the federal government. ” We are not yet at the point of looking for other facilities. . But we started talking to hospitals on a daily basis from last week. ”
To save lives and help slow the spread of COVID-19, public health experts recommend wearing a mask in public, practicing social distancing, avoiding large public gatherings, washing hands and staying at home in case of illness.
“Our South Carolinian friends, neighbors and compatriots are sicker than they have ever been from this virus,” said Duwve. “Our actions are important. They have an impact and affect others.”
DHEC has a list of all free mobile testing clinics where residents can get tested for COVID-19. The list can be found by clicking here.
So far, Tidelands Health has tested 14,961 separate individuals for COVID-19, of which 1,338 have tested positive.
Several testing events organized by Tidelands Health are coming up in our area.
They all start at 10 a.m. and last while supplies last.
• Friday at Georgetown High School
• July 17 at Myrtle Beach Pelicans Stadium
• July 24 at Coastal Carolina University
• July 31 at Myrtle Beach Pelicans Stadium