As COVID-19 cases continue to surge across South Carolina, medical leaders for Prisma Health Children’s Hospital say children are being hospitalized at record rates.
“On Monday, our positive community tests were at 47.9%. So that means almost one out of every two tests that we’ve being doing in the community in our practices have come back positive,” Dr. Robin LaCroix, the medical director for Children’s Hospital–Upstate, said during a Prisma Health press conference Thursday.
LaCroix said transmission rates among children in the Upstate are high.
On Wednesday, the Children’s Hospital almost reached their record in terms of children hospitalized with COVID-19, at 37 children hospitalized. By Friday, the South Carolina Children’s Hospital Collaborative reported the state had 35 children hospitalized with a COVID-19 diagnosis.
Dr. Caughman Taylor, Medical Director Children’s Hospital–Midlands said Thursday he is concerned South Carolina will exceed that number based on the statewide positivity rate being above 20%.
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In 2021, Prisma Health’s highest peak of COVID-19 patients at one time was 568 and they are approaching that level with 438 COVID-19 patients as of Jan. 6.
Prisma Health leaders said during the Thursday press conference that staffing is a current concern.
“The Omicron variant is extremely contagious and as you can imagine it is not only spreading in the communities but impacting out team members,” according to Dr. Steve Shelton, the Prisma Health incident commander.
The surge has not peaked yet and 80% of the 438 individuals admitted into Prisma Health were unvaccinated, Shelton said.
Many individuals are going to Prisma Health’s emergency departments to request COVID-19 tests. Shelton said people are being asked not to use the emergency departments for testing and to see other clinics and testing sites for tests.
The Omicron variant is the leading variant affecting the state of South Carolina, according to the CDC.
DHEC reports 12,996 cases Friday
The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control reported 12,996 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 on Friday.
There were also six deaths reported, based on information the agency gathered on Wednesday.
Overall, South Carolina has now tallied 12,743 confirmed deaths involving a COVID-19 diagnosis as well as 2,003 probable deaths.
Of the 42,790 COVID-19 test results reported Friday, 29.3% were positive.
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The state cumulative case total is now well over one million with 826,703 confirmed cases and an additional 221,549 probable cases reported.
Greenville County had 1,564 new confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases reported Friday. The most populated of the state’s 46 counties, Greenville County accounts for 10.2% of the state’s population, according to Census Bureau estimates, and made up 12.0% of the cases.
Pickens County, which accounts for 2.5% of the state’s population, accounted for 4.5% (588) of the cases announced Friday.
Spartanburg, which accounts for 6.4% of the state’s population, accounted for 4.69% (610) of the new cases, and Anderson, which accounts for 3.9% of the population, accounted for 4.07% (530) of the cases.