SC reports fewer than 1,000 COVID-19 cases for second straight day, adds 40 to death toll

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South Carolina reported fewer than 1,000 COVID-19 cases for the second straight day after reporting its lowest daily total in months just a day earlier, according to the state Department of Health and Environmental Control.

Wednesday’s total was 823 new cases and 40 deaths, bringing the state’s death toll to 13,368 since the start of the pandemic last year. Tuesday’s total was the lowest the state has reported since July 18 when it reported 333 cases.

DHEC said new cases reported came from testing completed two days earlier. That brings the state’s total COVID-19 case count to more than 889,000.

Of the new cases reported Wednesday, 254 were considered “probable” rather than confirmed.

The state conducted 12,306 tests, with 7.5% coming back positive. Over the past few weeks, there has been a decline in testing, resulting in fewer positive cases. But the positivity rate of those tests have also seen a decline.

About 41.7% of the new cases reported were people aged 30 and under.

Children 10 and younger made up 11.8% of the new cases, while 15.2% 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 350 deaths — 0.015% of all cases — as of Oct. 15 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 0.65% of all fully vaccinated people have been infected, while just 0.05% 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 54.2%, among the lowest in the country.

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