MYRTLE BEACH, SC. (WMBF) - Across South Carolina, recent numbers show fewer people are being tested for the coronavirus.
This trend rings true for Horry County as well when looking at recently-released data.
The Department of Health and Environmental Control released a new dashboard Aug. 11 that depicts county-level data for COVID-19.
A new number that previously had been estimated but not disclosed daily - the amount of testing being done per day, per county.
From Feb. 10 to Aug. 18, DHEC has counted 72,835 tests performed in Horry County, which includes serology and molecular tests. The overall average of percent-positive equates to 16.7%.
According to DHEC’s dashboard, May saw 9,670 tests performed, with an average positivity rate for COVID-19 at 4.8%.
That number shot up by the time June came around with 24,448 tests were performed, with an average percent positive of 17.74%.
July saw 25,473 additional tests, with an overall percent positive standing at 21.9% for the month. July 3 in particular appears to record the greatest number of tests performed at 2,218.
Since then, testing has started to drop: from Aug. 1 to Aug. 18, 7,557 tests were reportedly performed. The month prior saw 17,215 during that same time frame, a near 44% decrease in comparison. But the percent positive rate has also decreased, to an average of 13.8%.
These numbers can alter quickly and frequently though - the last week we’ve seen, Aug. 15, ended with 15.4% of tests positive, and it seems to be trending up slightly.
Though these percent positive percentages have lowered, they are still considered in the high range.
Closer to the end of May, South Carolina released its Statewide Testing Plan for COVID-19. Within that plan, it was identified that the federal government had committed to delivering testing supplies as long as at least 2% of the state’s population were tested each month. The goal to perform, at minimum, is 110,000 tests each month was thus identified.
About a month later, DHEC raised that goal to test 140,000 for the month of June, July and August, followed by 165,000 per month for the rest of the year.
June and July both greatly exceeded that goal. Though testing rates are down, August has achieved about 90% of its testing goal already.
Both state officials and local health experts noted the testing decrease last week, but DHEC remains adamant that testing opportunities should be taken advantage of, saying that testing for the virus is essential in identifying those who are infected, asymptomatic or not.
DHEC said they continue to have ambitious monthly testing goals and asks that South Carolinians utilize the testing opportunities available, even if you have been tested previously.