COVID cases soaring in Horry, slowing in Columbus

By DEUCE NIVEN

tribdeuce@tabor-loris.com

     COVID-19 infections appear to be slowing in Columbus County, picking up steam in Horry, recent state and local data including a Columbus Health Department news release Thursday indicate.

     This post will cover these topics and may be updated:

  • A COVID death, 58 new cases since Monday in Columbus
  • Horry coronavirus cases soar past 150 in a day

A COVID death, 58 new cases since Monday in Columbus

     Another COVID-19 associated death and 58 newly confirmed cases among Columbus County residents since Monday were reported by the Columbus County Health Department Thursday, a steep decline in infections helped by no apparent new cases during the period from Tabor Correctional Institution.

     Columbus County’s 73rd COVID-19 associated death took place on Nov. 27 at the home of the deceased, the health department reported. Data from the NC Department of Health and Human Resources indicates that death was likely in the Whiteville Zip Code.

     A total of 2,875 Columbus residents have tested positive for the coronavirus since the pandemic began in March, and 11 residents are currently in the hospital due to COVID-19, the health department reported.

     “There are approximately 840 active COVID-19 cases in Columbus County,” the health department reported. “There have been over 37,200 COVID-19 tests performed in Columbus County.”

     An explosive outbreak at Tabor Correctional during November may be contained, with no new case confirmations at the facility since Nov. 28, data from the NC Department of Public Safety shows. That pandemic total of confirmed COVID cases at TCI is 561.

     That outbreak had contributed significantly to a surge in COVID case numbers both for the Tabor City Zip Code, and for Columbus County as a whole.

     A much smaller outbreak at the county’s other prison, Columbus Correctional Institution, had not seen a newly confirmed case since Nov. 19, until Thursday when a single new case brought the pandemic total to 65.

     Tabor City has recorded five new COVID cases since Monday, the DHHS data shows, Whiteville fifteen.

     Some pandemic case/death totals shown by DHHS Thursday include Tabor City, 919/21; Whiteville, 818/19; Chadbourn, 287/8; Riegelwood, 162/3; Hallsboro, 152/7; Clarendon, 93/2; Cerro Gordo, 69/1; Nakina, 68/2; and Fair Bluff, 63/50.

     Delco, with 64 COVID cases confirmed during the pandemic, is the only Zip Code in the county with no recorded coronavirus deaths.

     Free testing: Free drive-through COVID-19 rapid tests will be given at the Columbus County Health Department in Whiteville from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday.

     Appointments are required, and may be made by calling 910-640-6615 extension 7006 or 7007.

     ‘Critical’ understanding: It is critical for residents to understand that the community transmission of COVID-19 is widespread in Columbus County,” the Health Department news release said, “urging county residents to take the measures necessary to protect themselves, their families, and their community from COVID-19.

     “If you leave home, practice your Ws: Wear, Wait, Wash. Wear a mask over your nose and mouth. Wait 6 feet apart and avoid close contact. Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer.”

     North Carolina reported a record 5,410 new COVID infections Thursday, and 44 associated deaths, bringing those pandemic totals to 377,231 and 5,637 respectively. Statewide 2,101 people were hospitalized due to the coronavirus Thursday, another pandemic record, up by 62 from Wednesday.

     State DHHS Director Dr. Mandy Cohen called those trends, along with three days in a row of positive COVID test results exceeding 10 percent, “alarming.”

     “In just 11 months COVID-19 has killed more than three times the number of North Carolinians than flu has in the past decade combined,” Dr. Cohen said.

     She encouraged everyone to do everything possible “to protect our loved ones” including practicing social distancing, washing hands, and “whatever your reason, get behind the mask.”

Horry coronavirus cases soar past 150 in a day

     Declining COVID-19 case confirmations for Horry County during the fall are returning to the highs of summer, daily data from South Carolina’s Department of Health and Environmental Control is showing this week.

     Nearly 300 new cases have been confirmed in the county in just the past two days, 156 indicated by DHEC’s online dashboard Thursday, 142 on Wednesday.

     Another COVID-19 associated death for Horry County was documented in Wednesday’s DHEC data involving an elderly person who died on Nov. 29. Another two “probable” COVID deaths were outlined in Wednesday’s data, both elderly people who died on Nov. 28.

     Zip Code data shows seven newly reported COVID cases in the Loris area, one in Green Sea since Tuesday. Four of the new Loris cases were shown in Wednesday’s data, as was the new case in Green Sea.

Two Horry coronavirus deaths in two days

     Two more Horry County residents have succumbed to COVID-19 associated illness, South Carolina’s Department of Health and Environmental Control reported in the past two days.

     Both were elderly individuals, one died on Nov. 14, the other Nov. 26, the DHEC data shows.

     During the same period 127 coronavirus infections involving Horry residents have been confirmed, 45 reported Sunday, 82 on Monday. Three of the new COVID cases are from the Loris Zip Code, one from Green Sea.

     Pandemic totals reported by DHEC Monday include 13,589 confirmed COVID cases for Horry County, 230 associated deaths, with 750 reported cases in the Loris Zip Code, 78 in Green Sea.

     South Carolina has recorded 203,659 COVID cases during the pandemic, 4,077 deaths, those numbers up by 1,174 and 27 respectively since Sunday.

     Statewide 925 people were hospitalized due to the coronavirus Monday, that number up by 46 from Sunday.

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.