Horry County COVID cases on the rise; doctor provides prevention tips

Published: Sep. 20, 2023 at 6:27 PM EDT
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HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) - Numbers from the CDC show there has been an uptick in COVID-19 cases, in the past week alone, Horry County has seen nearly 40 COVID hospital admissions.

“It’s not something that I’ve heard per se, but I have heard of more people getting sicker,” said Horry County resident Kyia Gibbs.

Gibbs said she’s had COVID-19 multiple times, but isn’t overly concerned.

“As far as for me now that I’ve had it, I’m hoping my immune system eventually catches on,” said Gibbs.

Dr. Paul Richardson, chief medical officer at Conway Medical Center, says he has seen 15% of people already showing COVID-19 symptoms test positive in recent weeks. But, he says people like Gbbs are right not to panic.

“As a physician, I’m always concerned about an infection but this is nothing unexpected or, at this point, that’s causing any disruption of our services or anything like that,” said Richardson.

Richardson said this is partly because the severity of COVID-19 cases has not increased.

“We’re not seeing patients requiring ventilators or ICU care or anything like that,” he said.

But, Richardson added that those with preexisting conditions should still be careful, and everyone should use common sense, like washing their hands and staying home if they feel sick.

“Those are just common simple rules that people need to continue to follow,” he said. “Are we seeing an uptick? Absolutely. Will we see an uptick in influenza, RSV, other things? Absolutely.”

Richardson also said that although there is a new COVID-19 vaccine available, it has not been pushed as much as the previous ones were. Still, he says, people with preexisting conditions could benefit and encourages people to consult their care teams about whether or not the vaccine is right for them.