The Journal staff

COLUMBIA — Five more COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in Pickens County, bringing the total there to six, according to the latest results from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.

Oconee County still has only two confirmed cases of the coronavirus strain that has wreaked havoc across the globe.

Statewide, there have been 424 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and seven reported deaths. More than half (224) of those confirmed cases have been in Kershaw (63), Richland (59), Charleston (52) and Greenville (50) counties.

In South Carolina, the biggest age group affected by COVID-19 has been 61-70 (19 percent), followed by 51-60 (17 percent) and 41-50 (14 percent).

DHEC believes South Carolina could have as many as 8,000 confirmed cases by the end of April, but that number could change:

• with the arrival of warmer weather, the number of cases may decrease;

• “as a result of the extraordinary efforts currently being made to encourage and enforce ‘social distancing,’ which should decrease viral transmission” the number of cases may decrease; and

• if further testing results in more positive tests, the numbers would be more than that.

“A number of increasingly sophisticated projection models are becoming available around the country, and in the coming days and weeks, use of several of these may permit more refined projections … though even these more sophisticated projections will be subject to a number of caveats,” according to DHEC.