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 472,000
At least 472,786 people have tested positive for the coronavirus in South Carolina and 8,192 have died since March 2020, according to state health officials.
The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control on Wednesday reported 466 new confirmed COVID-19 cases, down from 447 the day before.
Fifteen coronavirus-related deaths were also reported.
At least 561 people were reported hospitalized with COVID-19 on Tuesday, with 134 in intensive care units.
As of Wednesday, 8.6% of COVID-19 tests were reported positive. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 5% or lower means there is a low level of community spread.
More than 2.4 million COVID-19 vaccine doses had been administered in South Carolina, and more than 972,000 people in the state had “completed vaccination” as of Monday, when the latest data was reported.
Catholic Diocese, schools sue SC over COVID relief funds
The Catholic Church is calling for changes to the South Carolina Constitution amid an ongoing dispute over whether the state’s private schools can receive COVID-19 relief funds, The State reported.
Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charleston filed a 14-page civil rights lawsuit this week contending that Article XI, Section 4 of the state Constitution should be cut out.
“It violates the equal protection and free exercise clauses of the U.S. Constitution, and should no longer bar Plaintiffs’ schools from equal access to these essential relief funds,” the complaint reads.
The suit is backed by more than 50 religious and independent schools, colleges and universities across South Carolina.
Bluffton ends mask requirement
The Bluffton Town Council voted this week to allow its mask ordinance to expire on Wednesday, meaning residents will no longer be required to wear masks in public buildings.
The rule had been in place since June 30, The Island Packet reported.
The 4-1 vote came less than a day after the Beaufort County Council opted not to extend its mask requirement, which called for face coverings in buildings open to the public in all unincorporated areas of the county.
Carolina Country Music Fest to return to Myrtle Beach
After being canceled last year due to COVID-19, the Carolina Country Music Festival is coming back to Myrtle Beach this summer, the Sun News reported.
The festival, which draws crowds of country music fans by the thousands, is scheduled for June 10-13 from 1 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.
Headlining acts include Luke Combs, Darius Rucker, Eric Church and Jake Owen.
Vendors selling food, drinks and merchandise will be set up for the three-day event. Officials expect between 25,000 and 32,000 attendees each day.
Tickets range from $209 to $1,899. For more information on buying tickets, parking passes and road closures, go here.
SC pauses Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccinations
South Carolina health officials are pausing the use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine after six people in the U.S. who received the shot developed blood clots, The State reported.
The move comes after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Federal Drug Administration on Tuesday advised states to temporarily stop giving the shots out “of an abundance of caution.”
“The FDA and CDC have recommended a pause. We are certainly going to follow that,” said state health director Dr. Edward Simmer. “We are in the process right now of calling all of our providers and making sure they know that they should not give out the Janssen vaccine.”
Officials said clotting is rare and there is no need for widespread alarm.
Walk-in vaccines available in Myrtle Beach
Looking for a COVID-19 vaccine in the Myrtle Beach area? Two local hospitals are now accepting walk-ins, with no appointment necessary, according to The Sun News.
McLeod Health and Tidelands Health have set up multiple clinics for those looking to get vaccinated, with three set to open on Wednesday.
For more on clinic locations and hours, read the full story here.