Coronavirus omicron updates: Here’s what to know in South Carolina on Jan. 22

·3 min read

We’re tracking the most up-to-date information about the coronavirus and vaccines in South Carolina. Check back for updates.

More than 10,000 new COVID-19 cases in SC

At least 996,641 coronavirus cases have been reported in South Carolina, and at least 13,029 people have died of the virus since March 2020, according to state health officials.

The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control on Friday, Jan. 21, reported 10,469 new COVID-19 cases and 42 coronavirus-related deaths. There were also 3,429 probable cases and 13 probable deaths.

The omicron variant accounted for 95% of coronavirus strains identified in South Carolina during the week that ended Jan. 8.

At least 2,568 people in the state were reported hospitalized with COVID-19 on Jan. 21, including 437 patients being treated in intensive care units and 225 on ventilators. Twenty-seven percent of hospitalizations in South Carolina are coronavirus-related, data shows.

As of Jan. 21, roughly 33% of COVID-19 tests were reported positive. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said 5% or lower means there is a low level of community spread.

Nearly 53% of South Carolinians eligible to receive a coronavirus vaccine are fully vaccinated, and almost 62% have received at least one dose.

Did you or someone in your household test positive for COVID-19? Here’s what to do next

Free, at-home COVID tests can now be ordered over the phone, White House says

People in the U.S. can now order their free at-home, rapid COVID-19 tests from the government over the telephone, according to The White House.

The new phone line went live at 8 a.m. Friday, Jan. 21, and was created for those who may not have access to a computer or the internet, McClatchy News reported, citing White House officials. Residents can call 800-232-0233.

It comes just days after the federal government launched a website on which people can also order the at-home tests. The White House said the tests can take between seven and 12 days to ship once the order is placed.

Read the full story here.

Cold snap could close some COVID testing, vaccination sites in SC. What to know

Parts of South Carolina were hit with winter weather that could close COVID-19 testing and vaccination sites this weekend, The State reported.

Some clinics may also change their hours due to the cold weather, the newspaper reported, citing SC Department of Health and Environmental Control officials.

For COVID-19 testing sites, residents can visit scdhec.gov/findatest for the latest closures and schedule changes. For COVID-19 vaccinations, visit scdhec.gov/vaxlocator, officials said.

Hilton Head COVID testing site to close due to wintry weather

A COVID-19 testing site on Hilton Head Island is closed due to winter weather, according to The Island Packet.

BrightStar Care said it won’t provide free testing at the Chaplin Community Park site on Saturday, Jan. 22, the newspaper reported. The site will reopen Sunday, Jan. 23, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at 11 Castnet Dr.

The clinic will resume its regular testing schedule after Sunday. Residents can stop by for a test Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Pre-registration is recommended but not required, clinic officials said.

Going to an ‘omicron party’ is ‘a bad idea,’ SC doctors warn

South Carolina doctors have a warning for residents trying to catch the coronavirus omicron variant on purpose, The State reported.

That’s a bad idea for several reasons, according to Prisma Health infectious disease specialist Dr. Divya Ahuja.

The warning comes amid reports of people purposely gathering so everyone can contract the virus and hasten its run through the community.

“The highly contagious variant of the coronavirus lasts longer, and while much has been made about it being less severe, some people are getting quite sick,” Ahuja said. “This is not something to be complacent about.”

Read the full story here.

‘Unacceptable’: State officials working to fix COVID testing delays

Another Midlands school district asks DHEC to scale back quarantine rules amid COVID rise

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