South Carolina reported more than 20,000 new coronavirus cases and 111 deaths over the past two days, continuing the trend of high case counts throughout the Palmetto State.
The state reported 9,934 cases and 26 deaths on Thursday and 10,892 cases and 85 deaths on Friday.
Of the 20,826 new cases reported, at least 5,029 were listed as “probable” rather than confirmed. That brings the state’s total COVID-19 cases to more than 1,355,000 since March 2020. The state is now averaging some 13,000 new coronavirus cases each week.
The recent explosion in new coronavirus infections across the state is coinciding with extremely long wait times at some COVID-19 testing sites, a shortage of at-home tests available at some pharmacies, and delays for many people awaiting their test results. State health and federal Centers for Disease Control officials say the new omicron variant is to blame for the spike, making up 95% of all new cases around the country.
As case counts continue to grow, so does the state’s death toll.
The 111 new deaths bring the statewide death toll to 15,266. Nearly 600 people have died of COVID-19 in South Carolina over the past month.
DHEC officials have recommended that all eligible children ages 12 and up receive a Pfizer booster vaccine five months after their second dose to become “maximally vaccinated.” All eligible adults who are fully vaccinated — two shots of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or one dose of Johnson & Johnson — are encouraged to get booster vaccines as well to help fight off the virus, as the vast majority of the new cases are people who are unvaccinated.
There have been 666 deaths — 0.0259% of all cases — as of Jan. 28 from “breakthrough” cases, meaning an infected person is fully vaccinated with at least two doses. The majority of deaths — 59% — are people age 71 and up. About 61% of those who died had comorbid conditions. An estimated 1.7252% of all fully vaccinated people have been infected, while nearly 0.1037% 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 country’s lowest rates of full vaccination status — people with two vaccine shots — among its eligible population, at an estimated 52.9%.