MUSC COVID-19 Epidemiology Intelligence Project

Epidemiology Intelligence Project map

COVID-19 Status Summary for the Charleston metropolitan area (Charleston, Berkeley, and Dorchester Counties)

View information for the Florence area (Florence, Marion, Darlington, and Williamsburg Counties)

View information for the Lancaster metropolitan area (Lancaster and Chester Counties)

View information for the Midlands area (Kershaw, Fairfield, and Richland Counties)

Updated 9/28/2022 | About This Project

View Methods and Metrics Description 

Summary of weekly data for the TriCounty area. 

Indicators for the TriCounty area.

Indicator (second box) for the Tricounty area.

The number of weekly COVID-19 infections officially reported is vastly under-counted due to home testing.

It is estimated that the number of actual COVID-19 cases is 6 to 10 times the number officially reported.

Based on these estimates, last week (September 18th through September 24th) in the Charleston area:

  • 1 percent of the population were infected with COVID-19
  • 4,043 to 6,738 people were infected with COVID-19
  • 1 out of every 119 to 198 people were infected with COVID-19

This graph shows 31 cases per day in the Tri-county area for the week of August 21 through August 27.

What does the graph above tell us?

  • We recently had a surge of COVID-19 cases which began in the middle of May. Current data suggests that the surge is subsiding.
  • On June 15, the number of daily COVID-19 cases plateaued at a high level, with the number of officially recorded COVID-19 infections reaching between 35 to 45 cases per day for every 100,000 people.
  • As of last week, we had 12 cases per day per 100,000 people. Since most people now test for COVID-19 with home test kits only about 10 to 17 percent of infections are officially recorded.
    • Adjusting for under-counting due to home testing, it is likely that the actual number of infections per 100,000 people per day is between 72 and 120. Those numbers are equal to 1 percent of the population infected every week.

What does the graph above tell us?

  • This graphic compares the officially reported COVID-19 infections in the Charleston area to the amount of COVID-19 virus detected in wastewater from a sewage treatment plant in Charleston.
  • Detection of COVID-19 from wastewater often picks up increases and decreases earlier than from COVID-19 testing data.
  • Recent analysis shows a decline in cases over the past month. Wastewater data is showing increases in the amount of Covid-19 detected, but the data has not been updated since August 30th.
  • Note that the wastewater testing is from a single sewage treatment plant (the Plum Island plant in Charleston) that does not serve the entire Charleston area, and the testing data comes from the entire population of the Tri-County area (Charleston, Berkeley, Dorchester counties).

This graph shows that the 7-day average of COVID-19 cases in the Charleston area is high.

What does the graph above tell us?

  • This graphic shows the trends in the daily number of COVID-19 infections since the beginning of the pandemic for our area.
  • There have been 5 distinct surges. We have had a surge in both the summer and the winter each year.
  • The most recent surge was one of the longest we have experienced to date.
  • Bear in mind that the recent surge was different from past surges in several important ways:
    • In the recent surge there was significant under-counting of cases due to home testing for COVID-19.
    • Mitigation strategies such as mask use and distancing were much lower than in past surges.
    • The current predominant COVID-19 variant (BA.5) is the most effective variant yet at infecting people who are vaccinated, and reinfecting people who got COVID-19 in the past.
    • We now have access to medications that can reduce the severity of illness from COVID-19.
    • The death rate from COVID-19 is now much lower, due largely to immunity from vaccinations and prior infections. Regardless, there are now 460 people dying a day from COVID-19 in the United States, equivalent to 167,900 people a year.

COVID-19 Variants Based on Genetic Sequencing Conducted by the MUSC Molecular Pathology Laboratory. 

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View Latest Covid-19 Variants of Interest:

MUSC COVID-19 Situation Assessment:  

View Methods and Metrics Description

Metric Status for the week of September 18th-24th
Weekly Change of Reported COVID-19 Infections
DECREASING: -31%
Trajectory of documented cases (Increasing or Decreasing)
GREEN:
 Number of Reported
COVID-19 cases in last week
RED: 670 new cases reported
Diagnostic Testing Availability
GREEN
Return of Diagnostic Test Results
GREEN
Hospital Capacity to treat Critical Patients
GREEN
New Covid-19 Hospital Admissions per 100k population (7 day average) GREEN

COVID-19 Projections for South Carolina

Modeling from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) shows projections for South Carolina.