SC reports more than 1,000 new COVID-19 cases for first time this week, 62 more dead

Ceigan Carter, 13, receives the coronavirus vaccine from Mae Parker Sparrow, a registered nurse at Prisma Health, at W.A. Perry Middle School on Saturday, May 22, 2021. Recently the Pfizer vaccine was approved for children.
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South Carolina reported more than 1,000 new COVID-19 cases for the first time this week after four consecutive days below the 1,000-case mark, according to the state Department of Health and Environmental Control.

But even as the number of new cases has generally slowed across the state, the death toll continues to rise. This week alone saw nearly 200 COVID-related deaths throughout the Palmetto State, bringing the death toll to 13,472 since the start of the pandemic last year.

DHEC reported 1,059 new cases on Friday and 62 deaths. At least 321 of the new cases were considered “probable” rather than confirmed. That brings the state’s total COVID-19 case count to more than 890,000.

DHEC says all cases reported came from testing completed two days earlier.

The state conducted 25,078 tests, with 4.5% coming back positive. Over the past few weeks, there has been a decline in testing, resulting in fewer positive cases, though the positivity rate of those tests has also declined.

About 44% of the new cases reported were people aged 30 and under.

Children 10 and younger made up 14.1% of the new cases, while 16.1% 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 373 deaths — 0.016% of all cases — as of Oct. 22 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 0.68% of all fully vaccinated people have been infected, while just 0.053% 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 54.3%, among the lowest in the country.

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