We’re tracking the most up-to-date information about the coronavirus and COVID-19 vaccines in South Carolina. Check back for updates.
Cases surpass 474,000
At least 474,358 people have tested positive for the coronavirus in South Carolina and 8,195 have died since March 2020, according to state health officials.
The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control on Friday reported 847 new COVID-19 cases, up from 589 the day before.
Two coronavirus-related deaths were also reported.
At least 556 people were reported hospitalized with COVID-19 on Friday, with 144 in intensive care units.
As of Friday, 4.4% of COVID-19 tests were reported positive. Health officials say 5% or lower indicates a low level of community spread.
More than 2.5 million COVID-19 vaccine doses had been administered in South Carolina, and more than 1 million people in the state had “completed vaccination” as of Wednesday.
Will Hilton Head drop its mask mandate?
Though most communities in Beaufort County have dropped their mask mandates put in place to prevent COVID-19 spread, Hilton Head seems unlikely to follow suit in the immediate future.
That hesitance could be due in part to RBC Heritage presented by Boeing, the PGA Tour golf tournament being held this week. The tournament has brought in at least 27,000 fans to Sea Pines, the Island Packet reported.
Still, as new coronavirus cases continue to fall off and more South Carolinians get vaccinated, some Hilton Head leaders are confident the town’s mask mandate will be phased out in mid-May.
SC awarded $3.7 million to battle COVID-19 variants
South Carolina is set to receive $3.7 million in federal funds as part of an initiative to help slow the spread of COVID-19 variants, according to The State.
The funding is slated to arrive in May, the White House announced Friday. The initiative is part of a $1.7 billion investment aimed at monitoring variants of the virus popping up across the U.S.
So far, two COVID-19 variants have been reported in South Carolina: the U.K. variant and the South Africa variant — both of which are known to spread more quickly and easily, according to the CDC.
“With the information from sequencing, the CDC and state and local public health leaders can implement known prevention measures to stop the spread,” according to a statement from the White House.