HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) - Coronavirus case numbers are on the rise yet again in Horry County.
The summer saw a massive spike in the number of COVID-19 cases in Horry County before those numbers steadily started to go down starting toward the end of August.
However, the last seven days have seen a bit of an uptick in cases across the county.
Officials with the South Carolina Department of Environmental Control said Saturday the number of confirmed cases in a single day reached 100 for the first time since July.
DHEC’s most recent data on hospital bed capacity is from Saturday, and that data shows 88.5 percent of hospital beds in Horry County are taken.
Many days in the stretch from the end of August to the beginning of October saw confirmed case numbers as low as the teens. Over the last seven days, the lowest number of confirmed cases was 59, which was Monday.
Tidelands Health officials said Monday they had 17 people hospitalized due to COVID-19, which was much higher than the usual numbers they’ve had as of late, which is usually around five.
Experts said it’s tough to pinpoint an exact reason for the rise in cases.
“I think it’s probably very multifactorial,” Gayle Resetar, COO of Tidelands Health said. “I mean the health experts in the country have said as soon as people start to go inside and spend a little less time outside, we’re going to start seeing some numbers go up. We know school’s in session, we know we have colleges.”
Both Resetar and Dr. Paul Richardson with Conway Medical Center said the rise in cases could also be due to people becoming more relaxed when it comes to attending large gatherings and not wearing masks.
“Everyone’s tired of it,” Resetar said. “It’s not easy to maintain this level of diligence, but I think these numbers popping up and these hospitalizations popping up is a good wakeup call.”
Richardson said people need to make sure they don’t get complacent.
“My advice would be we’ve got to continue to be vigilant,” he said.
Doctors also said this flu season, it’s more important to get a flu shot than ever before, because hospital bed capacity may go down if there’s an active flu season on top of increased COVID-19 case numbers.