South Carolina counts highest number of new cases for fourth consecutive day

South Carolina reported its highest number of new cases for a fourth consecutive day on Saturday as Alabama and Florida documented their highest numbers for a third day in a row. 

South Carolina counted 785 new cases on Saturday, the highest one-day increase recorded since the coronavirus pandemic struck the state, according to data from The New York Times. Friday’s report had 729 new cases, while Thursday’s saw 682 and Wednesday’s counted 531. 

The state has recorded a total of 17,955 cases and 599 deaths. It was one of the last to issue a stay-at-home order and among the first to reopen on May 4. 

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But the rise in daily cases is not limited to the Palmetto State, as Alabama and Florida also reached their peaks on Saturday, according to Times data. 

Florida reported a total of 2,581 new cases on Saturday, a jump from the 1,902 new cases on Friday. On Thursday, the Times data documented 1,698 new cases for the Sunshine State. 

In Alabama, 891 new cases were counted on Saturday, a boost from the 865 new cases on Friday and the 856 new cases on Thursday. 

Health officials say the increases can be attributed to an escalation in testing and gatherings over Memorial Day weekend at the end of May as restrictions were loosened, Reuters noted. Florida’s stay-at-home order expired on May 4, and South Carolina’s order expired on April 30. 

South Carolina’s hospital bed occupancy has reached between 69.4 percent in the upstate area to 77 percent in the Pee Dee area, according to the state’s health department. The capacity is at its highest point during the pandemic in the Pee Dee and Midlands regions.

Oklahoma, meanwhile, documented its highest number of daily coronavirus cases on Saturday for the second day in a row. It saw 225 new cases on Saturday and 222 on Friday, according to Times data.

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The U.S. saw an overall increase of 25,468 cases on Saturday, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.