COVID vaccine live updates: Here’s what to know in South Carolina on Sept. 25

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

More than 2,600 new COVID cases reported

At least 677,058 people have tested positive for the coronavirus and 10,498 have died in South Carolina since March 2020, according to state health officials.

The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control on Friday reported 2,602 new confirmed COVID-19 cases, up from 2,202 the day before. The state also confirmed 111 additional coronavirus-related deaths, data show.

At least 2,196 people in the state were reported hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Thursday, including 533 patients being treated in intensive care units and 369 on ventilators.

As of Friday, 9.4% 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.

Just over 51% of South Carolinians eligible to receive a coronavirus vaccine are fully vaccinated, and nearly 60% have received at least one dose, according to health officials.

Midlands schools see drops in cases

Coronavirus cases are starting to drop in Midlands schools. While statewide case counts have dropped since early September, school officials have said testing, quarantine and other measures have contributed to the decline.

“Our quarantining practices, coupled with temporarily shifting nine schools to e-learning, reset the clocks, so to speak. That allowed our schools to slow the spread of the virus,” said Greg Little, superintendent of Lexington County School District 1.

“It also appears that since we are not requiring masks, our in-school spread is reflective of and driven by the community spread much more than it was last school year.”

Also seeing drops in cases were Lexington-Richland, Kershaw County Schools and Richland 2, The State reported Friday.

Providers to offer booster shots near Myrtle Beach

Two health care providers in the Myrtle Beach area have announced plans for making COVID-19 vaccine booster shots available.

Tidelands Health is offering the shots to eligible people at three vaccination sites and medical appointments, the hospital system said Friday.

And starting next week, Conway Medical Center plans to offer boosters, The Sun News reported.

A third shot of a Pfizer vaccine is now recommended for adults over 65, as well as people who are at risk for getting seriously sick or those with jobs that could expose them to the virus. The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control in a statement on Friday supported giving boosters to those groups.

Prizes to be offered at SC vaccine clinics

Prizes will be offered this weekend to people who get COVID-19 vaccines at two clinics in South Carolina.

Riverbanks Zoo & Garden in Columbia is giving prizes to anyone who gets a COVID-19 vaccine at an upcoming event.

On Saturday, anyone who gets a Pfizer or Johnson & Johnson shot will receive a stuffed animal and a pass to the zoo, valid up to one year.

The event is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., and prizes will be offered while supplies last, The State reported.

Also on Saturday, a vaccine clinic on Hilton Head Island is giving anyone who gets their first dose a $25 gift card. Those patients will also be entered into a drawing for an Xbox gaming system, The Island Packet reported.

The event is set for 9 a.m. to noon at the Boys & Girls Club on Gumtree Road.

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