COVID vaccine live updates: Here’s what to know in South Carolina on Oct. 16

·3 min read

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

Less than 1,000 COVID-19 cases reported Friday

At least 709,073 people have tested positive for the coronavirus and 11,461 have died in South Carolina since March 2020, according to state health officials.

The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control reported 987 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, an increase of 123 cases from the day before. The state also confirmed 106 additional COVID-19-related deaths.

There were 346 probable cases and 13 probable deaths reported, data shows.

At least 1,128 people in the state were reported hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Friday, including 327 patients who are being treated in intensive care units and 204 who are on ventilators. Roughly 12% of hospitalizations across the state are COVID-19-related, data shows.

As of Friday, 6.4% 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.

Nearly 54% of South Carolinians eligible to receive a coronavirus vaccine are fully vaccinated, and more than 61% have received at least one dose, according to health officials.

Lexington County workers to receive COVID-19 hazard pay

Lexington County employees who worked in “essential” or frontline positions during the COVID-19 pandemic can expect a bonus in the form of hazard pay, according to The State.

The Lexington County Council approved $7.3 million in federal relief funds to be disbursed to essential workers who had regular face-to-face contact with the public, or handled items that had been handled by others, the newspaper reported.

“Every employee contributed to the ability of the county to continue to provide uninterrupted services during this time,” Lexington County Council Chairman Todd Cullum said in a statement. “The premium pay plan for county employees is well deserved and recognizes the faithful and loyal employees that deliver the quality services we have come to expect and appreciate in Lexington County.”

County employees can expect to pocket between $1,600 and $5,700 in “premium pay.” Officials said the amount is dependent upon their risk of exposure to the virus while on the job, and the number of hours worked between Jan. 27, 2020, and March 21, 2021.

SC first responders sue over vaccine mandates

Some South Carolina first responders opposed to COVID-19 vaccine mandates are taking the issue to court, despite losing an increasing number of their comrades to the virus.

The first of four lawsuits backed by nearly 80 first responders challenging vaccine requirements will be addressed at a federal hearing Thursday, according to The State. Several entities are named in the complaints, including the cities of Charleston and North Charleston.

Both governments and the county fire department have required all employees to get the jab — or risk losing their jobs.

Lawyer Tom Winslow, who represents first responders in each of the four cases, said his clients should be able to choose whether to get the COVID-19 shot.

“This is not about a vaccine, or medicine or a virus. It’s not about employers or employees. It’s not about even a mandate,” Winslow told The State. “The question is where do you believe your ability to control your own body comes from?”

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