As of yesterday South Carolina surpassed 20,000 coronavirus cases after Department of Health and Environmental Control officials announced that 577 more people have contracted the virus. They also said 10 more people died after contracting COVID-19, bringing the statewide death toll up to 617.
As COVID-19 spreads, the number of the state’s 10,500 or so hospital beds that are filled by people with the virus increases.
Wednesday, the state broke a new record for beds occupied by coronavirus patients. Of the 7,411 occupied beds, 607 were being used by patients who were diagnosed with or suspected of having the coronavirus.
As of Wednesday, hospitals across the state were at 70.6% capacity.
DHEC officials have said the increase in coronavirus cases could be due to more people leaving their homes and fewer people wearing masks and practicing social distancing. They especially voiced this concern around Memorial Day weekend, which drove crowds to entertainment and tourist areas.
Starting April 20, S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster has gradually reopened businesses, including restaurants, retailers, beaches and close contact businesses such as gyms and salons. The Columbia Republican pushed to open some attractions as well by Memorial Day.
The governor has also said that he does not plan to reimpose or add new restrictions on businesses or require residents to wear masks, adding that it’sSouth Carolinians’ individual responsibility to practice social distancing.