Data shows downward trend in Horry County COVID-19 cases after mask mandates implemented

Data shows downward trend in Horry County COVID-19 cases after mask mandates implemented
(Source: Anna Shvets)

HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) – The Department of Health and Environmental Control announced a new online resource that provides a localized look at coronavirus cases and the impacts.

The new dashboard was developed by DHEC’s data analysts and provides information on several data points including the number of cases for each county, the number of tests performed and percent positive for each county.

“It’s important to remember that as this localized data changes from day to day, this deadly virus knows no bounds and it doesn’t recognize county or jurisdictional lines,” said DHEC Public Health Director Dr. Joan Duwve.

The new dashboard also allows users to filter certain dates and see the information that DHEC collected between those dates.

WMBF News used this tool to see the impact that local mask mandates have had on cases in Horry County. Many of the ordinances requiring people to wear masks inside certain businesses went into effect the week of the Fourth of July.

We took a look at the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Horry County between June 18 and July 2, which is two weeks before the mandates went into place. The data showed there were 2,377 cases within that time period before mask mandates went into place.

Then from July 3 to July 17, data shows the number of confirmed cases was 2,609. During this time period, Horry County saw it’s highest single-day case number with 358 cases on the Fourth of July.

The number of coronavirus cases numbers started to decrease the two weeks after the mask ordinances were implemented, which it’s important because the CDC has stated the coronavirus incubation period is 14 days so impacts to stop the spread aren’t usually seen until weeks after they are implemented.

Data shows that from July 18 to July 31, there were 1,491 confirmed cases in Horry County. Then from Aug. 1 to Aug. 10 there were 558 coronavirus cases in Horry County.

Right now, it’s hard to say if the decrease in numbers is directly related to the mask mandates put in place. WMBF News spoke to medical experts on Monday who said that the decline in cases that we’re seeing recently do coincide with actions that the community is taking to help slow the spread, which includes the use of face masks, practicing social distancing and washing their hands. They have also told residents to not let their guard down and to continue to wear face masks and practice social distancing.

WMBF News has reached out to DHEC to get more information on the mask mandate impact to coronavirus cases. An official said that we should get that data sometime this week.

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