Photo by Daan Stevens on Unsplash

Editor’s note: After moving to weekly updates this spring, we have restarted daily COVID-19 updates as the state experiences increased cases.

What you need to know this week: An influx of patients in hospitals across the United States have health care providers pushed to their limits, and some states, including neighboring Georgia are nearly out of ICU beds.

“In essence, our hospitals are full,” Northeast Georgia Health Systems CEO Carol Burrell told CNN. “We’re looking to add space in hallways and conference rooms in waiting areas. Our emergency rooms and our urgent care centers are seeing higher volume than they’ve seen throughout this pandemic.”

Hospital systems in Southern states have been hit particularly hard, as many states in the Southeast have lower vaccination rates. Data presented by a vaccine adviser from the CDC shows a hospitalization rate 16 times higher in unvaccinated people than those who are fully vaccinated.

Hospitals in South Carolina have not been stretched as thin as health care centers in other states, but as case numbers continue to rise, health experts are not ruling out the possibility.

Latest COVID-19 data

South Carolina health officials reported 4,343 total cases of COVID-19 Aug. 31, with 3,631 confirmed. A total of 37 new deaths, with 29 confirmed, were reported Tuesday, after a dramatic drop in numbers from Monday compared to days prior.

With 30,203 tests reported, 15.8% were confirmed positive.

Percentage of S.C. residents with at least 1 vaccine: 56.6%
Percentage of S.C. residents who have completed vaccination: 47.6%