COVID deaths have not shown a commiserate uptick as the case rate has increased.
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The COVID-19 Community Level in Lexington County remains high, and this week, we’re joined by all but nine of South Carolina’s 46 counties in being encouraged to mask against the virus by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the state Department of Health and Environmental Control.
The CDC issues weekly Community Levels based on the latest local-level data. For six of the past seven weeks, the level in Lexington County has been high, triggering a recommendation to mask in all public indoor spaces.
Five of the county’s neighbors (Newberry, Richland, Calhoun, Orangeburg and Aiken) also have a high level, while one (Saluda) has a low level.
Statewide, 37 counties have a high level, five have a medium level, and four have a low level. Last week, 29 counties had a high level, 11 counties had a medium level, and six had a low level.
Lexington’s case rate is up sharply this week, with the county posting 480.67 new COVID cases per 100,000 people in the seven days leading up to July 28. The total number of new cases in the county was 1,436.
The county’s case rate has now gone up for six straight weeks, going from 215.16 per 100,000 people to 243.68 to 253.39 to 329.71 to 345.44 to 393.31 to this week’s 480.67.
COVID deaths have not shown a commiserate uptick as the case rate has increased. According to DHEC, the county posted less than five deaths from the virus between June 23 and July 23.
In the two other metrics used to determine Community Levels, Lexington County’s rate of new COVID hospital admissions per 100,000 people was 17.7 (up from 14.7), and the percentage of inpatient hospital beds in use by COVID patients was 4.8% (down from 5.4%).
The case rate in the county is above 200 per 100,000 people and it is above the high threshold in one of the two other metrics (the number of new COVID hospital admissions), triggering the high grade from the CDC and recommendation to mask.
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