I hope everyone enjoyed the first unofficial weekend of fall. It was great to see school buses last week and some football on TV over the weekend weekend.
Slowly, it seems that we are returning to some sense of normalcy. I actually had a short blog prepared to post yesterday, highlighting last week's numbers, but right before it was due to post, I noticed something strange when I went to double check the numbers.
Apparently, DHEC revised the daily numbers reported for last week.... Strange. When I first tallied the weekly total new Covid cases on Sunday by adding the reported daily cases, I came up with a total of 3824 cases.
DHEC had predicted a total of 6281, which was an upward adjustment after the prior week's total came ins...I guess DHEC expected more cases with the return to school and sports. So based on my original math, the total cases would have ended up being 40% less than predicted. This coincides with the continued low numbers of Covid cases at Roper.
However, DHEC added more cases, particularly for Friday the 11th, and now the DHEC site reports a total of 4392 cases for last week. This is still a significantly lower than DHEC predicted, and over 2000 less cases than the preceding week.
Additionally, hospital utilization rates appear to be holding pretty steady. And finally, DHEC is reporting lower percent positive test rates. The number of testing being performed is declining, but not because of availability of tests but because of demand.
So, in summary, things are looking hopeful. Even with the irregularities that keep popping up with the Covid data, the trends are moving in the right direction, and the scene on the ground, ie in the hospitals, is stable. However, as we enter flu season, I feel that it will be important for people to get their flu shot.
The flu can also be lethal, including to children. If we don't protect ourselves from influenza, not only do we put ourselves and those around us at risk, but the whole Covid situation will become more complicated.
It is my understanding that currently all respiratory infections are being lumped into Covid numbers, so if the flu numbers are high, I suspect that the Covid numbers will look like they are spiking, which might not be the real case and may lead to unnecessary lock downs again.
I have also heard stories of people who underwent Covid testing in the back in March and April who also had a flu test performed, and both tests came back positive,
exemplifying again the problems with our testing.
So let's keep powering on, wear our masks, and get our flu shots!
Have a great week,
Dr. Heidi Williams