We’re tracking the most up-to-date information about the coronavirus and vaccines in South Carolina. Check back for updates.
Over 500 new COVID-19 cases reported
At least 706,969 people have tested positive for the coronavirus and 11,336 have died in South Carolina since March 2020, according to state health officials.
The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control reported 546 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, a decrease of 239 cases from the day before. The state also confirmed 38 additional COVID-19-related deaths.
There were 347 probable cases and two probable deaths reported, data shows.
At least 1,163 people in the state were reported hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Tuesday, including 344 patients who are being treated in intensive care units and 245 who are on ventilators. About 13% of hospitalizations across the state are COVID-19-related, data show.
As of Wednesday, 7.6% 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.
Just over 53% of South Carolinians eligible to receive a coronavirus vaccine are fully vaccinated, and roughly 61% have received at least one dose, according to health officials.
Need a COVID-19 vaccine? Free shots available in Lancaster County
Lancaster County residents can receive a free COVID-19 vaccine, thanks to a new pop-up clinic, The Rock Hill Herald reports.
A vaccination drive at Lancaster High School will offer the Pfizer vaccine on Friday from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Attendees must be at least 12 years old to get the jab, according to The Herald.
Beaufort is ending mask mandate for city buildings
Beaufort is set to lift its mandate requiring face masks inside city-run buildings, The Island Packet reported.
City Manager Bill Prokop announced the decision during a City Council meeting on Tuesday, citing a dip in new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.
The mask mandate expires Monday. Masks will still be required in municipal court, however.
Vaccine hesitancy still an issue amid pandemic, SC DHEC says
Despite messaging about the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine, more than 2 million South Carolina residents eligible to get the shot remain unvaccinated, according to the state’s Department of Health and Environmental Control.
Officials with the public health agency say efforts to persuade people to get the shot, including pro-vaccine messaging and cash incentives, have largely fallen ”on deaf ears,” The State reported.
“It is frustrating and deflating when you’re doing everything you can to make it readily available, easy to understand and you just have a large reluctance,” Keith Frost, an assistant chief in DHEC’s Bureau of Air Quality, told the newspaper. “Because the science is there, the science shows that it’s effective.”
Experts also pointed to COVID-19 misinformation and the politicization of the jab as contributing factors to vaccine hesitancy.
Read the full story here.