BMH bending, not breaking

in Coronavirus/Health by

By Mike McCombs

As of Monday morning, Beaufort Memorial Hospital was treating 29 positive COVID-19 patients.

The Intensive Care Unit was full with 12 patients – six of those positive for COVID-19 and three of those on ventilators.

“It will be different tomorrow,” BMH Spokesperson Courtney McDermott said, noting that patient numbers fluctuate every day.

McDermott said that last week, there was an increase in younger patients in the age group of 21–30.
As far as testing, BMH tested 696 people last week with 163 coming back positive. That’s a positive rate of 23.4 percent.

Peer pressure

Rep. Joe Cunningham called on Governor Henry McMaster to change his COVID-19 strategy on Monday, July 14. Citing an increase in cases, positivity rates, deaths and hospitalizations, Cunningham called for McMaster to change strategies.

“What we are doing clearly isn’t working,” Cunningham said in a letter. “And choosing to maintain the same flawed plan will only result in more cases, more loss of life and more businesses being forced to close their doors. It’s time for the Governor to hit the reset button, take the advice of public health experts and come up with a new strategy that slows the spread and shows the people of South Carolina that their leaders are doing everything possible to save lives.”

Cunningham asked McMaster for a statewide mask requirement and joined State Senator Tom Davis in asking McMaster to ask for federal aid with testing.

Holding steady here

On average, in Beaufort County last week, there were 72.4 new cases each day in the week ending Monday, July 6. For the state, that number was 1,860.2.

The state average was up from the previous week, when the average was 1,663.1. Beaufort County held steady as the previous week’s average was 72.6.

Beaufort County did set a new high with 108 new cases reported on Thursday, July 16.

No hospitalization data

According to DHEC, the CDC notified all users of its National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) on Tuesday, July 14, that the COVID-19 Module for Patient Impact and Hospital Capacity would cease serving as an option for hospital reporting during this pandemic. DHEC issued a Public Health Order supporting the transition from NHSN to TeleTracking on July 15.

Hospitals are actively making the transition and DHEC is monitoring their efforts. During this transition, the information currently provided by hospitals is incomplete and, therefore, inaccurate. Once DHEC is able to verify the information the hospitals are reporting as part of this new reporting requirement is accurate and the system is fully implemented, we will resume our effort to provide daily data reports.

For July 14, the last date the data was presented, there were 1,593 hospital beds in use by COVID-19 patients and 214 of those were on ventilators. Those same numbers for the end of the previous week were 1,488 and 205, respectively.

Goal achieved

South Carolina has exceeded its monthly COVID-19 testing goal for the month of July by performing 143,336 tests from July 1 through July 16, surpassing the target of 140,000 tests.

To date, DHEC and partners have held 503 free testing events across the state since May, and a total of 638,194 tests have been performed in South Carolina. There are currently 89 mobile testing events scheduled through Aug. 15 with new testing events added regularly, and there are 182 permanent COVID-19 testing facilities across the state.



As of Monday, July 20

S.C. confirmed cases: 71,213

S.C. probable cases: 232

S.C. confirmed deaths: 1,147

S.C. probable deaths: 17

Beaufort County cases: 2,517

Beaufort County deaths: 31*


Last week’s 7-day avg. new cases, state: 1,860.2

Previous week’s 7-day avg. new cases, state: 1,663.1

Two weeks ago’s 7-day avg. new cases, state: 1,604.1

Three weeks ago’s 7-day avg. new cases, state: 1,263.6

Last week’s 7-day average new cases, county: 72.4

Previous week’s 7-day average new cases, county: 72.6

Two weeks ago’s 7-day average new cases, county: 52.4

Three weeks ago’s 7-day average new cases, county: 38.9


Monday, July 20

New S.C. Cases: 1,445

S.C. deaths: 9

New Beaufort Co. Cases: 33

Beaufort Co. deaths: 0

Percent Positive: 17.7

Sunday, July 19

New S.C. Cases: 2,335*

S.C. deaths: 19

New Beaufort Co. Cases: 93

Beaufort Co. deaths: 0

Percent Positive: 18.4

*Record High

Saturday, July 18

New S.C. Cases: 1,481

S.C. deaths: 39*

New Beaufort Co. Cases: 59

Beaufort Co. deaths: 0

Percent Positive: 21.0

*Record High

Friday, July 17

New S.C. Cases: 1,964

S.C. deaths: 25

New Beaufort Co. Cases: 55

Beaufort Co. deaths: 0

Percent Positive: 17.4

Thursday, July 16

New S.C. Cases: 1,842

S.C. deaths: 69*

New Beaufort Co. Cases: 108*

Beaufort Co. deaths: 3

Percent Positive: 21.3

*Record High

Wednesday, July 15

New S.C. Cases: 1,850

S.C. deaths: 0

New Beaufort Co. Cases: 78

Beaufort Co. deaths: 0

Percent Positive: 21.6

Tuesday, July 14

New S.C. Cases: 2,205

S.C. deaths: 23

New Beaufort Co. Cases: 81

Beaufort Co. deaths: 0

Percent Positive: 21.5