Editor’s note: This article has been updated to include information from DHEC correcting the CDC data.
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showing decreased COVID-19 cases in the state “does not accurately reflect community levels in South Carolina,” the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control tweeted Friday afternoon.
“Please note: Due to this week’s COVID-19 data delay, data for the CDC Community Levels map was not provided in time for the weekly update,” DHEC tweeted.
The map went live before DHEC was able to get in the updates, therefore drastically decreasing the levels shown in the CDC’s county-by-county map.
DHEC normally releases the previous week’s data on Tuesdays, but a system update to the South Carolina Infectious Disease and Outbreak Network delayed the release until Thursday.
Under the CDC data, the majority of South Carolina counties were classified as “medium” COVID-19 case areas.
As of Friday morning, 39 counties were in the medium category. Chesterfield, Marlboro, Darlington, Florence and Williamsburg counties were classified as “high.” Chesterfield and York counties are considered to have a low rate.
Days earlier the CDC had five counties in the medium category and four classified as low. The rest of the state was considered to have a high rate.
Under CDC guidance, people who live in areas rated with a medium level and who are considered at-risk are urged to wear a mask. In areas with high levels, masking is recommended for all people — regardless of vaccination status — in schools and workplaces.
There were 14,967 new cases reported to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control last week, according to data released Thursday afternoon — a decrease of 14.1% from the previous week, and 3.8% higher than the previous month.
Hospitalizations, however, continued to rise. As of right before midnight Saturday, there were 607 COVID-19 patients in South Carolina hospitals, an increase of 12.9% from the previous week, and up 38.3% from the previous month.
There were 13 deaths reported last week.
After a boost in early July, vaccinations were down by 8.5% last week, but still up 7.1% from the previous month.