We’re tracking the most up-to-date information about the coronavirus and COVID-19 vaccines in South Carolina. Check back for updates.
Cases surpass 476,000
At least 476,506 people have tested positive for the coronavirus in South Carolina and 8,237 have died since March 2020, according to state data.
The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control on Tuesday reported 362 new COVID-19 cases, down from 518 reported the day before.
Two coronavirus-related deaths were also reported.
At least 537 people were reported hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Tuesday, with 149 patients in the ICU.
As of Tuesday, 6.2% of COVID-19 tests were reported positive. Health officials say 5% or lower indicates a low risk of community spread.
More than 1.1 million South Carolina residents — or 26.9% of the state’s population — had completed COVID-19 vaccination as of Sunday.
Rock Hill vaccination clinic gets new location
One of Rock Hill’s largest COVID-19 vaccination sites is moving from the Galleria Mall to the city’s Operation Center next month, The Rock Hill Herald reported.
The clinic, which opened in January, will administer final doses of the vaccine at the Galleria Mall location on May 14 and begin inoculating residents at the new Operation Center location on May 18.
“Our effort to create a space where hundreds of people could be vaccinated daily has been a model of community cooperation,” Mayor John Gettys said in a statement. “There’s no way we could have managed to ramp up our numbers and staff this clinic for the last 12 weeks without our dedicated volunteers, assisted by city staff.”
The new clinic will be housed in the center’s administration building and will run Tuesday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
For more information, read the full story here.
Hilton Head businesses see staff shortage ahead of tourism surge
With tourism season around the corner, some Hilton Head businesses owners fear the flood of newly vaccinated visitors could be too much for their limited staff to bear.
Erika Waronsky owns two businesses on the island, both of which have experienced staffing shortages this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Grocery stores, hotels, catering businesses, restaurants, retail stores — we’re all pushed to the limit right now,” she told The Island Packet. “The workforce shortage is the new pandemic. People are getting vaccinated, they haven’t traveled in a year, they’re going to come here.”
Waronsky has already hired 10 new employees to help bolster what she called her “skeleton staff” ahead of the summer tourism season.
Gov. McMaster, first lady receive first vaccine doses
Gov. Henry McMaster and first lady Peggy McMaster received their first doses of a COVID-19 vaccine on Monday, The State reported.
McMaster tweeted a photo of his wife and himself getting their shots at a CVS pharmacy in Columbia.
“To those who want a shot, get your shot!” the Twitter post read.
They both tested positive for COVID-19 last year, and they chose to get vaccinated because they’re not keen on catching the virus again, the governor said.
“If you want one, go get one. If you don’t want one, then think about it. We’re going to be doing this for a while,” McMaster told reporters. “It seems to be clear that these vaccines are safe. If I didn’t think so, I wouldn’t have taken one.”
Horry County COVID-19 cases hold steady
Coronavirus cases in Horry County continue to hold steady despite the threat of a potential surge, according to The Sun News.
It’s been months since the county’s daily case count has exceeded 100. However, health officials say it’s important to remain cautious because the virus is still very much real.
“I’m tired of the masks. I hate it, I don’t like doing it,” said Dr. Paul Richardson, chief medical officer at Conway Medical Center. “But it’s a necessary evil in order to get to where we need to go.”
In the last week, Horry County has recorded 229 new COVID-19 cases, with more than 133,000 residents receiving at least one dose of the vaccine.