We’re tracking the most up-to-date information about the coronavirus and vaccines in South Carolina. Check back for updates.
More than 1,700 new cases reported
At least 510,769 people have tested positive for the coronavirus and 8,739 have died in South Carolina since March 2020, according to state health officials.
The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control on Monday reported 1,794 new COVID-19 cases, about 400 more than were reported Friday. The state also reported one new coronavirus-related death.
At least 453 people in the state were hospitalized with the coronavirus as of Monday, with 133 patients in the ICU, data show.
As of Monday, 15.1% of COVID-19 tests were reported positive. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 5% or lower means there is a low level of community spread.
Roughly 45% of South Carolina residents are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus and about 51% have received at least one dose, health officials say.
Could mask mandates make a comeback in Beaufort County?
A rise in coronavirus cases across South Carolina has raised questions about the return of mask mandates in the Lowcountry. Local officials have given it some thought, according to The Island Packet.
While an executive order by Gov. Henry McMaster barred local governments from imposing mandatory mask rules, the order was issued during his COVID-19 state of emergency — which expired in June. Local officials now have some wiggle room to re-impose mask requirements, if they chose to do so, to help curb the spread of the delta variant.
Beaufort County Council Chair Joe Passiment told The Island Packet he would support a countywide mask mandate if the council reintroduced the issue. Hilton Head Mayor John McCann feels differently, however.
“Right now, the data doesn’t indicate we need it,” McCann said, according to the newspaper.
Tracking down a COVID-19 vaccine in S.C.
Still unvaccinated? An interactive map by The State is helping South Carolina residents find where to book an appointment for the COVID-19 vaccine.
Approximately 45% of the state’s population has been fully vaccinated — a number that has improved but is still lagging compared to vaccination rates in other states.
The interactive tool comes as South Carolina and much of the U.S. grapples with an alarming rise in new coronavirus cases, coupled with concerns over spread of the highly contagious delta variant.
“Unvaccinated people are the reason the pandemic is ongoing,” Brannon Traxler, public health director of the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, said in a news release. “Nearly 9,900 South Carolinians have lost their lives to COVID-19, and those individuals would have given anything to have access to a vaccine that could’ve saved their lives, as we all have today.”
Find your closet COVID-19 vaccine provider here.
Hospitalizations more than double in 2 weeks
The number of people hospitalized in South Carolina with coronavirus has increased by more than 100%, according to statistics from the state’s Department of Health and Environment Control, The State reported.
At least 453 people were reported hospitalized as of July 27, the last day of reporting, DHEC data shows. That’s almost a 136% increase from two weeks ago when 192 people were hospitalized. The DHEC updates its hospitalized data every Tuesday.
The increasing hospitalizations come as South Carolina deals with a surge of COVID-19 cases that’s reaching levels not seen since February.