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Breaking down the ‘percent positive’ of S.C. COVID-19 tests

The heat map indicates reported cases of COVID-19 in the state.
The heat map indicates reported cases of COVID-19 in the state.(Source: South Carolina Department of Environmental Health and Control)
Published: Aug. 3, 2020 at 4:10 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - Out of over 7,000 COVID-19 tests reported on Aug. 2 in South Carolina, only 15.2 percent were positive. What does that mean for the spread of COVID-19 in-state?

As of yesterday, a total of 787,551 tests have been conducted in the state as reported by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.

The total number of individual test results reported to the agency yesterday statewide was 7,257 and the percent positive of those tests was 15.2 percent.

What does this mean in terms of how the virus is spreading in our communities?

According to DHEC, when the percent positive is high, it may indicate that there isn't enough testing being performed to capture how much disease is in the community, and testing may be focused on people who are more severely ill.

When the percent positive is low, it’s the opposite. It may indicate that more widespread testing is being performed and that number may more accurately reflect how much disease is present in the community.

The percent positive graphs show trends in the percent of cases of COVID-19 relative to the number of tests performed during the last 28 and 14 days, respectively.
The percent positive graphs show trends in the percent of cases of COVID-19 relative to the number of tests performed during the last 28 and 14 days, respectively.(Source: South Carolina Department of Environmental Health and Control)

For more information about the testing for COVID-19 in South Carolina, visit DHEC’s SC Testing Data & Projections (COVID-19).

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