Lancaster Area Growth Rate of Cases

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What Does This Graph Show?

This graphic shows the average percentage growth in the number of documented COVID-19 cases from week to week. 

This metric provides insight into how quickly the epidemic is growing or declining.  With the advent of home testing for the COVID-19 virus, which is now more popular, the number of documented cases is likely lower than in the past as home test results do not get captured by DHEC. Regardless, the percentage of people testing for COVID-19 and using home tests does not change week to week much, and therefore the change in the number of positive tests documented by DHEC still makes this a useful indicator. One reason this indicator is useful is you can have a small number of positive cases but if that is growing quickly it indicates that the number of people getting infected is going up and that elevates the risk to community members. Hospitalizations are another useful indicator, but hospitalizations lag several weeks from the time of infection. Thus, the growth rate of cases is a good early warning of a potential surge of infections.