DHEC: Only 4 ICU beds open in Horry County; hospitals in Myrtle Beach, Florence region most full in state


COLUMBIA, S.C. (WBTW) — Hospital occupancy rates were the highest in the state among facilities in the Grand Strand and Pee Dee areas, according to information released Tuesday from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control. 

The Pee Dee region, which DHEC defines as Horry and Florence counties and smaller neighboring counties, had a 85% hospital bed occupancy rate, as of Tuesday. It was followed by the Lowcountry, which had an 84% rate. 

In Horry County, 93.3% of beds were occupied, a slight improvement over the last week. Of 667 beds in use, 133 were COVID-19 patients. Of 94 occupied intensive care unit beds, 44 were COVID-19 patients, leaving four open ICU beds in the county. 

There were 1,954 new, confirmed cases on Tuesday, based on information DHEC received on Sunday. There were an additional 250 probable cases and 11 confirmed deaths — three of which were in Horry County. Florence and Darlington counties also saw one death each.

Of 16,717 new tests reported to the state, 15.5% were positive for the virus.

Tuesday’s update brings the state’s totals to 527,409 confirmed cases, 118,450 probable cases, 8,808 confirmed deaths and 1,184 probable COVID-19-caused deaths. 

About 78.6% of hospital beds across the state were in use, according to the Tuesday utilization data, which is updated weekly. About 77.24% of ICU beds were in use, with 317 of them COVID-19 patients. About 27.5% of ventilators were in use, with 177 of them used on COVID-19 patients. Of the 8,920 occupied inpatient beds, 1,166 were being used by COVID-19 patients. 

Every county in the state remained in the “high” incidence rate category, as of Tuesday, meaning that the area has seen more than 200 new, confirmed cases per 100,000 people over a two-week period. Horry County’s rate was 933.7, a number that has jumped exponentially over the last few weeks. 

New case counts for local counties are as follows:

Darlington – Six confirmed, six probable

Dillon – 12 confirmed, sthree probable

Florence – 53 confirmed, two probable

Horry – 179 confirmed, 54 probable

Marion – 15 confirmed, two probable

Marlboro – Two confirmed, seven probable

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