SC reports 898 COVID-19 cases, 25 deaths Wednesday

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Zak Koeske
·3 min read
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South Carolina health officials have reported fewer than 1,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases for three days running for the first time since early November.

The state Department of Health and Environmental Control Wednesday reported 896 new cases and 25 deaths from the virus.

Just under 9% of the 16,333 COVID-19 tests reported Wednesday returned positive results, according to the state Department of Health and Environmental Control.

DHEC, which recently changed the way it calculates percent positivity, determines the rate by taking the total number of positive viral tests and dividing those by the total number of tests taken. The number of cases is lower than the number of positive tests because some people take multiple tests.

COVID-19 hospitalizations, which have declined significantly since mid-January, dropped again Wednesday to 968, their lowest point since late November.

Since March of last year, the state has reported 438,861 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 7,460 deaths from the virus.

South Carolina counts an additional 70,183 cases, including 299 Wednesday, as probable positives. They also count another 938 deaths, including 20 Wednesday, as probable COVID-19 deaths.

DHEC defines a probable case as someone who has had a positive antigen test or has virus symptoms and is at high risk for infection. Probable deaths are ones where the death certificate lists COVID-19 as the cause of or a contributing factor to death, but the person was not tested for the virus.

The state has reported a cumulative total of 509,044 probable and confirmed COVID-19 cases and 8,398 probable and confirmed deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.

Vaccines distributed

As of Wednesday, South Carolina had received 594,950 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine and 489,600 doses of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine.

The agency reported Wednesday that 384,870 first doses of the Pfizer vaccine and 175,118 first doses of the Moderna vaccine had been administered so far. Another 157,362 second doses of the Pfizer vaccine and 75,345 second doses of the Moderna vaccine also have been administered.

Administrations of the Moderna vaccine currently lag behind Pfizer administrations because Moderna shots had originally been used exclusively to vaccinate long-term care facility residents and staff as part of a federal pharmacy partnership. In recent weeks, the Moderna vaccine, which does not have the same ultra-cold storage requirements as the Pfizer vaccine, has been shipped to pharmacies, federally qualified health centers and other providers, and its uptake is expected to increase.

Health care workers, long-term care facility residents and staff, and all people age 65 and older are currently eligible to receive vaccinations.

In addition to the 793,000 first and second vaccine doses that have been administered, South Carolinians have scheduled another 494,000 vaccination appointments, DHEC said.

Anyone eligible to receive a vaccine who would like to get one can use DHEC’s locator tool to find a provider with availability near you at www.scdhec.gov/vaxlocator. For those who lack internet access, DHEC has launched a phone line — 866-365-8110 — where operators are available every day from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. to help people searching for information about vaccine providers.

State health officials advise South Carolinians to continue taking measures to mitigate spread of COVID-19 as the vaccination rollout progresses in the months ahead.

DHEC urges anyone who is symptomatic or who has been exposed to someone with COVID-19 to get tested themselves and recommends routine monthly testing for anyone who is out and about in the community, even if they are asymptomatic.

To find a testing location near you, visit DHEC’s website at scdhec.gov/covid19/covid-19-testing-locations.