DHEC: Pediatric COVID-19 hospitalizations up 222% over last week


COLUMBIA, S.C. (WBTW) — The number of children hospitalized with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 is 221.9% higher than the previous seven-day average, according to data Wednesday from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.

There were 44 children ages 17 and younger in a hospital with the virus, according to DHEC. There are 1,290 adults hospitalized with COVID-19, up 65.6% over the previous seven-day average.

Statewide, about 80.8% inpatient adult intensive care unit beds were in use, and about 66.4% of pediatric ICU beds were occupied.

Hospitals continue to see large increases in the number of COVID-19 patients amidst a new surge of the virus, which has led to the highest daily diagnosis counts since the pandemic began.

Compared to last week, 44% more COVID-19 patients were on a ventilator, 48.1% were in the ICU and hospitals saw 86.7% more admissions. Those statistics cover all ages.

About 7.9% of South Carolina children ages 5 to 11 have completed vaccination, and 52% of all eligible residents have completed vaccination, as of the most recent information from DHEC.

Every county in the state is currently classified as having a “high” incidence rate for the virus, meaning that more than 200 people per 100,000 have been diagnosed with the virus within the last two weeks. In Darlington, Dillon, Florence, Horry, Marion and Marlboro counties, more than 1% of the population has been diagnosed during that time.

On Wednesday, DHEC announced an additional 4,248 confirmed cases, 2,744 probable cases, 32 confirmed COVID-19-caused deaths and nine probable COVID-19-caused deaths. Of 15,587 new tests reported to the state, 32.7% were positive for the virus.

Among those newly reported deaths was the probable COVID-19-caused death of one person in Darlington County, the confirmed deaths of two people in Florence County, and two confirmed and one probable COVID-19-caused death in Horry County.

The update brings the state’s totals to 804,782 confirmed cases, 213,653 probable cases, 12,721 confirmed COVID-19-caused deaths and 1,994 probable deaths.

New case counts for local counties are as follows:

Darlington – 35 confirmed, 73 probable

Dillon – 25 confirmed, seven probable

Florence – 89 confirmed, 107 probable

Horry – 170 confirmed, 178 probable

Marion – 14 confirmed, 27 probable

Marlboro – 28 confirmed, 15 probable

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