SC DHEC’S Dr. Linda Bell Talks COVID-19 Data, What You Need To Know

TRI-COUNTY, S.C. — Right now, SC DHEC numbers show 11 active COVID-19 student cases at Clover High School.

But the district tells us those numbers are actually two weeks behind.

And that instead, there are 6 active cases out of more than 6,500 attending in person class.

The school district believes those six cases started during late summer activities and not in school buildings.

South Carolina’s Epidemiologist Dr. Linda Bell was the keynote speaker during a virtual meeting hosted on Monday by the Arras Foundation in Lancaster County.

Dr. Bell spoke on COVID-19 data, trends and what experts learned about the virus.

The public health leader says her understanding of the virus is constantly evolving.

Bell says when businesses first began to reopen, there was an upsurge in cases. Now, there is a downward trend. Bell attributes it to increased testing.

In Chester and Lancaster, Bell laid out the numbers of cases and deaths. She says that data is used to help SC DHEC and other agencies plan to meet the needs for hospital beds and equipment. It’s also used to identify areas where more testing is needed.

Many are asking if there will be a second wave or when there will be a sense of normalcy.  Bell adds it’s hard to say.

“It depends so much on human behavior, we never really made it out of first wave because we never really saw a sustained downward, trend that lasted for 14 days,” Dr. Bell said. “The reason we use 14 days is because that’s the maximum incubation period.”

Dr. Bell continued to emphasize the importance of wearing masks.

As for a vaccine, Bell says it could be released as early as November.

It will first target those front line health care workers, as well as people over 65 and those with underlying conditions.

The vaccine supply could increase rapidly in early 2021.

The City of Lancaster recognized Dr. Bell’s work on the Coronavirus pandemic and named September 28 as State Epidemiologist Dr. Linda Bell Appreciation Day.

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