COVID case pace unabated as federal change leaves SC in the dark on key metrics; sports training another casualty

By DEUCE NIVEN

tribdeuce@tabor-loris.com

     COVID-19’s toll on the Tabor-Loris Community, Columbus and Horry counties continued unabated this weekend, data from state agencies show, while South Carolina health officials said a reporting change ordered by federal government prevented the reporting of state hospitalization data related to the pandemic.

     Athletic training in the Columbus County Schools has become another pandemic casualty.

     This post will cover these topics and may be updated:

  • Four deaths, 200+ new infections in Horry since Friday
  • Columbus COVID count up by 41 this weekend
  • CC Schools’ suspend athletic workouts

Four deaths, 200+ new infections in Horry since Friday

     Four more Horry County residents have died due to complications of COVID-19, South Carolina’s Department of Health and Environmental Control reported this weekend, with another 216 citizens confirmed as infected with the disease.

     Technical issues prevented accurate reporting of data from DHEC Saturday, a news release saying that Sunday’s data would correct for those problems.

     Zip Code data showed an additional 22 COVID case confirmations for the Loris area, bringing that total to 396, with a single new infection in Green Sea leaving that area with a pandemic total of 32.

     Statewide South Carolina averaged nearly 2,000 newly confirmed cases per day during the weekend, the total 3,908, with 58 deaths related to COVID-19.

     White House direction to move tracking of COVID-19 dada from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) to TeleTracking’s U.S. Healthcare has left South Carolina without the data to provide daily hospital occupancy reports related to the pandemic, a DHEC news release said.

     “At the federal government’s request, DHEC is transitioning from the CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) COVID-19 module to TeleTracking’s U.S. Healthcare COVID-19 Portal for monitoring hospital bed occupancy data,” DHEC reported. “Once TeleTracking has sufficient participation and accuracy, DHEC will report from it.

     “There may be incomplete data with significant gaps over the next few days.”

Columbus COVID count up by 41 this weekend

     An additional 41 Columbus County residents have tested positive for COVID-19, including 7 from the Tabor City area, data reported by the state’s Department of Health and Human Services since Friday shows.

     Columbus County Health Department pandemic data is released each Monday and Thursday, while the DHHS online dashboard is updated daily. Its data sometimes lags behind that of the county, and there have been discrepancies between those agencies.

     DHHS Data this weekend shows the county with 713 confirmed coronavirus cases since the pandemic began, up from 672 on Friday.

     Zip Code data showed the Tabor City area with a pandemic total of 177 cases, 5 added Saturday, 2 on Sunday. Whiteville showed 14 newly confirmed cases, Chadbourn with 8, their pandemic totals now 201 and 93.

     Columbus County Health Department’s COVID-19 Call Center remains operational from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays at 910-640-6615 ext. 7045 or 7046.

     North Carolina reported 4,301 new COVID infections and 28 new related deaths during the weekend, the pandemic total now 99,778 cases, 1,634 deaths.

     Hospitalizations have fallen by 65 in North Carolina during the weekend, the total Sunday 1,115.

CC Schools’ suspend athletic workouts

     Pre-season athletic workouts have been “suspended indefinitely” for all of the Columbus County Schools, district spokesman Kelly Jones confirmed this weekend.

     That decision came late Friday, with the county joining other school districts in suspending training as the new school year approaches during the COVID-19 pandemic.

     Those workouts were allowed to begin last month, under approval granted by the North Carolina High School Athletic Association on June 15.

     It was not clear this weekend when athletic training will resume.

Updates

     Look for continuing coverage on local impacts from the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak here and in the Tabor-Loris Tribune in print and online.