For a second consecutive week, South Carolina had one of its highest death tolls from the coronavirus in any seven-day stretch since the pandemic hit in March 2020, according to state health officials.
From Sept. 18 to 24, the Department of Health and Environmental Control reported 472 COVID-19-related deaths, one more than the previous week. Only two weeks in January were deadlier, with 520 and 485 deaths.
The number of new COVID cases dropped significantly week over week. The state had 21,676 new cases between Sept. 18 and 24, according to DHEC. That’s an average of about 3,097 new cases reported a day. The previous four weeks, South Carolina had more than 30,000 new cases reported each week.
The percent of COVID tests that returned positive was still more than double what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says is a controlled level. An average of about 11% of tests came back positive Sept. 11 to 17. The CDC has said that the percent positive should be 5% to indicate the virus’ spread is be slowing.
Hospitalizations from the virus have declined in the last four weeks. But with more than 900 deaths in two weeks, that may account for a reduction in people in the hospital with the virus. At least 2,255 people were hospitalized as with COVID as of Friday.
About 2.2 million of the state’s eligible residents, or a little more than 51%, are vaccinated, DHEC reported. About 40,000 people were vaccinated this week.
In South Carolina, at least 841,600 cases of COVID-19 have been reported overall and 12,080 people have died since March 2020, according to DHEC.
To learn how to book a COVID-19 vaccine appointment, visit The State’s website.