SC reports 1,300 new COVID-19 cases, 22 more deaths

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South Carolina reported more than 1,300 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday after a decline in cases the previous two days, according to the state Department of Health and Environmental Control.

The state had reported fewer than 1,000 new cases on both Tuesday and Wednesday.

The agency also reported Thursday that 22 more people have died from COVID-19. Since the start of the pandemic last year, 13,114 people in South Carolina have died from the disease.

DHEC said the 1,304 new cases reported Thursday came from testing completed two days earlier. That brings the state’s total COVID-19 case count to more than 882,000, according to DHEC.

Of the new cases reported, 440 were considered “probable” rather than confirmed.

The state conducted 16,595 tests, with 8.4% coming back positive. Over the past week there has been a decline in testing, resulting in fewer positive cases.

At least 43.7% of the new cases reported were people aged 30 and under.

Children 10 and younger made up 13.4% of the new cases, while 16.6% of the cases were diagnosed in people between the ages of 11 and 20.

At the earlier height of the pandemic between December and February, only 5.8% of positive cases were kids 10 and under.

The highly contagious delta variant is likely responsible for the majority of new COVID-19 cases in South Carolina, according to state health officials. The exact number of delta cases is unknown because only a fraction of confirmed cases undergo genome sequencing, the process to determine the variant.

There have been 328 deaths — 0.014% of all cases — as of Oct. 8 from “breakthrough” cases, meaning the person was fully vaccinated. The majority of deaths — 65% — are people ages 71 and up. About 65% of those who died had comorbid conditions. And 0.6% of all fully vaccinated people have been infected, while just 0.048% of fully vaccinated people have been hospitalized.

Health officials recommend wearing a face mask and getting the coronavirus vaccine to help limit the spread of the virus.

South Carolina’s vaccination rate is 53.6%, among the lowest in the country.

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