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South Carolina reported more than 850 new coronavirus cases and 17 deaths Wednesday, according to the state Department of Health and Environmental Control.
Prior to Thanksgiving Day, the state’s average was under 600 cases per day, which included a low of 259 cases from Nov. 24. Since then, there has been a slight increase in the numbers across the state with an average of 1,036 cases per day.
State health officials had warned of an uptick in cases following the holiday.
Of the 866 new cases Wednesday, at least 340 were listed as “probable” rather than confirmed. That brings the state’s total COVID-19 case count to more than 926,000 since March 2020.
The 17 new deaths reported by the agency bring the statewide death toll to 14,334. Nearly 400 people have died of COVID-19 in South Carolina over the past month, the lowest numbers since August.
The state conducted 13,726 tests for Wednesday’s data, with 5.4% coming back positive. The state health department said the cases reported Wednesday came from testing completed two days earlier.
About 40% of the new cases reported were people age 30 and under. Children 10 and younger made up 12.9% of the new cases, while 10.8% of the cases were diagnosed in people between the ages of 11-20.
At the earlier height of the pandemic between December 2019 and February 2020, only 5.8% of positive cases were kids 10 and under.
The Palmetto State’s downward trend of cases over the previous month had shown the spread of the virus was slowing significantly compared to months prior, but the recent uptick may cause concern with the new omicron variant reaching the U.S.
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 511 deaths — 0.0209% of all cases — as of Dec. 3 from “breakthrough” cases, meaning the person was fully vaccinated. The majority of deaths — 59% — are people age 71 and up. About 61% of those who died had comorbid conditions. And 0.8630% of all fully vaccinated people have been infected, while nearly 0.0611% 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 has one of the lowest fully vaccination rates in the country among its eligible population with an estimated 50.7%.