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South Carolina added nearly 1,400 new coronavirus cases on Friday, marking the second consecutive day the state surpassed 1,000 cases since October.
Thursday’s almost 1,100 cases ended the streak of 35 consecutive days without reaching the 1,000-case mark.
State health officials had warned of an uptick in cases following the Thanksgiving holiday, despite the state Department of Health and Environmental Control recording fewer than 1,000 new COVID cases every day throughout November. A similar streak of lower numbers hadn’t occurred since summer, when daily case totals were around the lowest since the pandemic began.
DHEC also reported three additional deaths Friday, bringing the statewide death toll to 14,272. More than 400 people have died of COVID-19 in South Carolina over the past month, the lowest monthly death total since August.
At least 510 of the 1,381 new cases reported Friday were listed as “probable” rather than confirmed. That brings the state’s total COVID-19 case count to more than 921,000 since March 2020.
The state conducted 26,614 tests for Friday’s data, with 4.5% coming back positive. The state health department said cases reported came from testing completed two days earlier.
About 42% of the new cases reported for the past five days were people age 30 and under. Children 10 and younger made up 11.4% of the new cases, while 15.1% 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 488 deaths — 0.0203% of all cases — as of Nov. 19 from “breakthrough” cases, meaning the person was fully vaccinated. The majority of deaths — 60% — are people age 71 and up. About 60% of those who died had comorbid conditions. And 0.8023% of all fully vaccinated people have been infected, while nearly 0.0596% 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 50.3%.