South Carolina epidemiologist Dr. Linda Bell says the Palmetto State may have reached a plateau in the number of new COVID-19 cases being reported.
“We’ve seen relatively level numbers of reported cases for several days now,” Bell said Thursday afternoon. “That is somewhat encouraging, so it doesn’t look like we’re on the upward slope.”
But she cautioned the state is "certainly not on the downward slope for any sustained period of time" that would give health officials reassurance that we're out of the woods.
Earlier projections estimated the state would be reporting about 750 new COVID-19 cases each week by early May, and that by May 9, there would be an estimated 7,000 total cases reported.
“So if we continue to see the kind of social distancing that we have been strongly recommending, then we expect that those projections will be reasonably accurate,” Bell said. But if people don’t take those recommendations seriously, the numbers could increase.
She said she does not expect the actual number of cases reported by early May to fall short of the projections.
Bell stressed the importance of maintaining social distancing no matter what people see others doing.
“If you can’t control other people’s behaviors, then take control of what you can control,” she said. “Maintain social distancing, wear a mask when you’re in public, maintain very good hygiene because you can never anticipate who you might come in contact with who’s infected.”