Another virus death reported in county

COLUMBIA — Pickens County recorded its eighth confirmed COVID-19-related death this week as virus cases continue to surge around the county and the state.

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control announced 13 new confirmed deaths around the state on Monday, including an elderly resident’s death in Pickens County.

As of Monday afternoon’s DHEC update, the county was up to 1,194 confirmed COVID-19 cases and three probable cases. Tuesday’s figures were unavailable at press time.

DHEC said Monday that the state was up to 58,003 confirmed cases, 165 probable cases, 961 confirmed deaths and 11 probable deaths related to the virus.

Pickens County’s rate of infection is ranked 30th of South Carolina’s 46 counties, with 941.02 cases per 100,000 residents.

State officials confirmed the first pediatric COVID-related death in South Carolina over the weekend, as the death of a child younger than 5 from the Midlands was reported to the agency on Saturday.

“Today, we mourn the loss of one of our children to this virus. It is heart-wrenching to lose a child under any circumstances, and especially so during a time when we have all lost so much already,” DHEC public health director Dr. Joan Duwve said. “Our state is in a dire situation, and we will continue to mourn the loss of parents, grandparents, children, friends and neighbors until each and every one of us steps up to do what is right, not just for ourselves but for others. No one is immune to this deadly disease, but we each have the power to impact the path this pandemic takes in South Carolina.

“Choosing to wear a mask and maintain physical distance today will not only help change the course of the pandemic in South Carolina, it will help save the lives of those around us.”

As of Monday morning, 3,009 inpatient hospital beds were available and 7,692 were in use across the state, which is a 71.88 percent statewide hospital bed utilization rate. Of the 7,692 inpatient beds being used Monday, 1,488 were occupied by patients who had either tested positive or were under investigation for COVID-19.

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