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Makenzie Maxwell, a nursing student at USC Aiken, assembles a sample from a nasal swab at a coronavirus testing site in Aiken. Free testing will be offered at a variety of locations throughout Aiken County beginning Thursday.

South Carolina continues to break its record for the highest amount of coronavirus cases confirmed in a 24-hour period, according to data from state health authorities. 

Over 1,800 new COVID-19 cases were confirmed July 4, including 36 new cases in Aiken County. This is the highest number of cases confirmed in Aiken County and the state of South Carolina in a single day.

The highest number of cases previously confirmed in Aiken County was 29 coronavirus cases on July 2. 

The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control also reported 19 additional coronavirus-related deaths Saturday. Six of the victims were middle-aged and 13 were elderly, according to DHEC. 

South Carolina has now surpassed 800 deaths from coronavirus-related causes. As of July 4, DHEC has confirmed 43,260 cases of COVID-19 across the state. Over 480 of those cases are in Aiken County, where 10 coronavirus-related deaths have also been reported. 

Despite the increasing number of daily cases and increased efforts by state health authorities to test more South Carolinians, the percent of positive cases remains high, according to DHEC. Over 9,330 people were tested for COVID-19 in the latest round of testing and nearly 20% tested positive for COVID-19.

Most S.C. counties, including Aiken County, have an increasing incidence rate over the past two weeks for new COVID-19 cases reported per 100,000 people, according to DHEC. Of South Carolina's 46 counties, only Chesterfield County has seen a decreasing incidence rate. 

South Carolina's hospital capacity is about 71% full as of July 4, with 1,160 people hospitalized due to coronavirus or are under investigation for having coronavirus. 

There are several upcoming free community testing clinics for COVID-19 taking place across Aiken County this month.

All these testing events are for S.C. adults aged 18 and older.

Insurance is not required, and symptoms of illness do not need to be present to get a free test.

Patients must bring an S.C. state-issued ID.

July 9: Aiken Regional Medical Centers in partnership with DHEC; 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Belvedere First Baptist Church, 421 Edgefield Road, North Augusta.

July 9: Rural Health Services Inc.; 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at New Beginning Ministries, 317 Williston Road, Beech Island.

July 9: The Medical University of South Carolina; 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., A.L. Corbett Middle School, 10 A.L. Corbett Circle, Wagener.

July 10: Rural Health Services Inc.; 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at New Ellenton Community Center, 212 Pine Hill Ave., New Ellenton. 

July 23: Aiken Regional Medical Centers in partnership with DHEC; 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Citizens Park, 1060 Banks Mill Road S.E. 

Kristina Rackley is the health, education, and general assignment reporter with the Aiken Standard. To support local journalism and access more articles, subscribe by clicking here