DHEC says ‘probable cases’ are coronavirus, changes calculation with latest reports

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South Carolina had 4,324 new cases of the coronavirus and 84 deaths reported May 2-8, according to the Department of Health and Environment Control.

That’s an average of about 618 new COVID-19 cases a day.

The number of new cases are in line with previous weeks despite being numerically higher. The higher numbers were caused by a change in how DHEC reports new cases.

Since September, DHEC had reported “confirmed” and “probable” cases separately. On Thursday, the agency started to report them together to clear up confusion about what a probable case means.

Using the standards set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a probable case means a person had a positive antigen test, also known as a rapid test, DHEC said.

“While the wording for these cases that the CDC uses is ‘probable,’ these are a case of COVID-19,” DHEC said, “and the isolation and quarantine recommendations and all other health actions are the same.”

“A confirmed case and a probable case are treated no differently.”

The same applies to confirmed and probable deaths, which DHEC is now reporting together.

Community spread of COVID-19 was at the CDC’s low level with an average of 4.5% of tests reported positive from May 2 to 8, according to DHEC.

The CDC says a positive rate consistently below 5% means the virus spread is slowing in a community.

Almost 40,000 more people received a dose of the vaccine this week, according to DHEC data. With nearly 1.39 million people having completed inoculation, more than a third of the state’s residents are fully vaccinated.

As of Saturday, 344 people were hospitalized in the state with coronavirus, down more than 100 people from the previous week when 457 were hospitalized.

With the combination of confirmed and probable cases and deaths, at least 583,996 people have tested positive for the coronavirus in South Carolina and 9,586 have died since March 2020, according to DHEC.

To learn how to book a COVID-19 vaccine appointment, visit The State’s website.

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