The COVID-19 virus.

COLUMBIA, S.C. – A middle-age individual from Florence County and an elderly individual from Darlington County were among nine coronavirus deaths reported Thursday by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.

DHEC announced 199 new COVID-19 cases, including 13 in Florence County and eight in Darlington County. Only Greenville County (27) had more than Florence.

This brings the total number of people confirmed to have COVID-19 in South Carolina to 9,379 and those who have died to 416.

Florence County now has had 30 deaths and 563 cases.

Darlington County has had six deaths and 240 cases.

Six of the nine deaths reported Thursday occurred in elderly individuals from Clarendon (1), Darlington (1), Horry (1), Kershaw (1), Lee (1) and Spartanburg (1) counties. Three of the nine deaths occurred in middle-aged individuals from Dillon (1), Florence (1) and Lee (1) counties.

The number of new cases by county:

Aiken (1), Allendale (1), Anderson (5), Bamberg (2), Beaufort (2), Berkeley (4), Charleston (7), Chesterfield (3), Clarendon (4), Colleton (2), Darlington (8), Dillon (3), Dorchester (2), Edgefield (1), Fairfield (13), Florence (13), Greenville (27), Greenwood (4), Horry (13), Kershaw (6), Lancaster (8), Lee (3), Lexington (5), Marion (1), Marlboro (8), Newberry (2), Orangeburg (2), Pickens (5), Richland (13), Saluda (5), Spartanburg (6), Sumter (7), Williamsburg (6) and York (7).

On Thursday, staff from DHEC’s Bureau of EMS conducted training for COVID-19 specimen collection at McEntire Joint National Guard Base in Richland County. All 25 of the military detachment’s EMTs received training in collecting nasal and oral swabs from individuals for COVID-19 testing.

As of Wednesday, a total of 148,901 total tests by both DHEC’s Public Health Laboratory and private labs have been conducted in the state. DHEC’s Public Health Laboratory is operating extended hours and is testing specimens seven days a week. The Public Health Laboratory’s current timeframe for providing results to health care providers is 24 to 48 hours.

As of Thursday morning, 3,142 inpatient hospital beds are available and 7,199 are in use, which is a 69.62% statewide hospital bed utilization rate. Of the 7,199 inpatient beds currently used, 438 are occupied by patients who have either tested positive or are under investigation for COVID-19.

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