MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) – Along with a rising positive test rate, South Carolina is on pace to have the second-most coronavirus cases this month during the pandemic, according to numbers from the state Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC).
The World Health Organization recommends that no more than 5% of coronavirus tests should come back positive. South Carolina is more than three times higher than that, which medical experts say is too high to see how much the virus is spreading.
COVID-19 is rising again in South Carolina, as the seven-day average reached its highest point this week (1,459 cases) since the beginning of August. That was the decline of the summer spike and about a month after many cities and counties mandated masks.
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While cases are people who have COVID-19, public health experts say an area’s positivity rate shows if testing is keeping up with the viruses spread. DHEC data shows the Palmetto State’s seven-day positive test rate has gone up by about 42.6% in the last month. The rate was at 15.4% on Tuesday, compared to 10.6% on Oct. 17.
The Carolinas are also towards the bottom of the U.S. in meeting testing targets, according to researchers at Brown University. They say North and South Carolina are testing less than half of what’s necessary to mitigate COVID-19 and only about 12% of the testing needed to suppress the virus.
As of Tuesday, South Carolina had already recorded 20,906 cases in November. That’s on pace for about 36,893 cases in the month.
That would only be less than July, which saw 53,630 cases.