Weekly Greenville COVID-19 briefing brings some good news

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GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA)–Another update from the City of Greenville on Friday brought some potential good news.

Health experts announced Friday that they’ve seen the beginning of a plateau, and even a slight downward slope in local coronavirus cases.

“We’re definitely going in the right direction,” Dr. Eric Ossmann with Prisma Health said.

“The rapid increase that we had has stopped,” Dr. Marcus Blackstone with Bon Secours St. Francis Health System said.

A possible plateau of coronavirus cases has healthcare experts cautiously optimistic.

“We now are able to bring in the conversation of how do we start reopening some of the services,” Blackstone said.

Blackstone says just over the past couple of days their hospitals have started to see the number of COVID positive cases even out, signaling it could be time to gradually get back to normal.

“We will start ramping up our outpatient surgeries middle of next week,” Blackstone said.

Meanwhile at Prisma Health hospitals, they’ve seen a slight decrease, but are waiting for more.

“Essentially you’re seeing a rapid doubling of cases in a short period of time and we want to sort of see the same thing happening on the down side,” Ossmann said.

Greenville Mayor Knox White says this is good news for businesses. He said they’re working on plans to reopen things slowly and carefully once its safe to do so.

“The first indicator is a downward trajectory of COVID and influenza like illnesses for 14 days,” White said.

Part of that plan includes an increase in testing to give people peace of mind.

“Testing is a part of early detection to prevent recurrence,” White said.

It’s something local and state agencies have been doing since the beginning of this pandemic.

“We have ramped up testing throughout this event and will continue to ramp it up into the near and long term future,” Ossmann said.

“Thats why at DHEC we’re continuing to look for opportunities to increase testing across the state,” Dr. Brannon Traxler with DHEC said.

But, leaders were clear, this positive news didn’t happen by accident.

“Part of the reason Greenville and the upstate is in such a good position is because everybody out there has paid attention to the social distancing guidelines,” Ossmann said.

And it’s something people should continue to do for the foreseeable future.

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