GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – Data from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control shows COVID-19 hospitalizations have been down over the past 30 days.
The data shows COVID-19 hospitalizations across the state have dropped by more than 50 percent over the last month, from more than 2,100 in late January to less than a thousand as of Monday.
After the holidays, local health leaders begged people to stay home amid a rising wave of COVID-19 that threatened to overwhelm the healthcare system.
“The overall rate of admission has declined,” said Dr. Syed Malik, who is the director of the ICU at AnMed Health. “And that’s very gratifying to see that.”
Dr. Malik said despite the drop, a significant number of patients are still hospitalized with the disease. The latest DHEC data shows about 74 percent of Upstate hospital beds are occupied, which is down from the 88% peak in early January.
“We might still see fluctuations within that,” said Dr. Surabhi Gaur, who is the chief medical officer at Bon Secours St. Francis. “We will still have some highs and lows, but it’s relative to where we were a month ago.”
Dr. Raur said their ICU is still close to full despite fewer COVID-19 patients admitted in recent weeks.
“We had some extra ICU rooms and units created at the start of the surge, and while we are not using all of them, we are still using some of them,” she said.
She and Dr. Malik credit the vaccine with helping keep some people out of the hospital.
“Some of our most vulnerable patients are getting vaccinated, so that might have some impact on it,” said Dr. Malik. “The other things could be…the weather warms up a little bit…there might be less huddling of people in the closed spaces, so that may have something to do with it,” Dr. Malik said.
Dr. Gaur said she’s optimistic about the weather and vaccinations, too.
But we’re not in the clear yet.
“There’s still a possibility that we may see future surges of the variants of COVID that are the UK variant or the South African variant that might cause future spikes in the coming months,” Dr. Malik said.