South Carolina reported fewer than 1,000 COVID-19 cases for the third consecutive day on Thursday after reporting its lowest daily total in months just two days earlier, according to the state Department of Health and Environmental Control.
DHEC reported 879 new cases on Thursday and 44 deaths, bringing the state’s death toll to 13,412 since the start of the pandemic last year. The state reported 823 cases and 40 deaths on Wednesday. Tuesday’s count of 613 cases was the lowest daily total since July 18, when the agnecy reported 333 cases.
DHEC said new cases reported came from testing completed two days earlier. That brings the state’s total COVID-19 case count to more than 890,000.
Of the new cases reported Thursday, 319 were considered “probable” rather than confirmed.
The state conducted 16,729 tests, with 5.3% coming back positive. Over the past few weeks, there has been a decline in testing, resulting in fewer positive cases. But the positivity rate of those tests have also seen a decline.
About 40% of the new cases reported were people aged 30 and under.
Children 10 and younger made up 11.1% of the new cases, while 14.1% of the cases were diagnosed in people between the ages of 11 and 20.
At the earlier height of the pandemic between December and February, only 5.8% of positive cases were kids 10 and under.
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 350 deaths — 0.015% of all cases — as of Oct. 15 from “breakthrough” cases, meaning the person was fully vaccinated. The majority of deaths — 65% — are people ages 71 and up. About 65% of those who died had comorbid conditions. And 0.65% of all fully vaccinated people have been infected, while just 0.05% 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’s vaccination rate is 54.2%, among the lowest in the country.