South Carolina reports nearly 3,500 new COVID-19 cases, 124 deaths

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South Carolina reported nearly 3,500 new COVID-19 cases and 124 more deaths on Friday, according to the state Department of Health and Environmental Control.

More than 470 people have died from COVID over the past week in South Carolina. Since the start of the pandemic last year, 12,080 people have died from the disease.

DHEC said the 3,491 new cases reported Friday came from testing completed two days earlier. That brings the state’s COVID-19 case count more than 840,000, according to DHEC.

Of the new cases reported on Friday, 889 were considered “probable” rather than confirmed.

The state conducted 36,766 COVID-19 tests, with 9.4% coming back positive.

At least 45.2% of the new cases reported were people aged 30 and under.

Children 10 and younger made up 12.5% of the new cases, while 18% 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 Palmetto State continues to trend in the wrong direction, as cases are soaring.

Two weeks ago, South Carolina had its second-highest weekly total of new cases with nearly 38,000. The previous week, there were more than 35,000 new cases. The only higher weekly total was in early January, when the state had more than 40,000 cases. The state hasn’t had fewer than 1,000 new cases on any day since July 24.

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 256 deaths — 0.011% of all cases — as of Sept. 24 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 0.46% of all fully vaccinated people have been infected, while just 0.04% 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 51.2%, among the lowest in the country.

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