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COVID hospitalizations in SC are 10 times higher than 2 months ago
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COVID hospitalizations in SC are 10 times higher than 2 months ago

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The COVID-19 virus

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Nearly 20 percent of the patients who are hospitalized in South Carolina are there because of COVID-19, a rate that is 10 times higher than two months ago.

Of the 9,357 patients who are hospitalized now, 1,833 are COVID-19 patients (19.59%), according to state health officials. One month ago, 297 patients were hospitalized because of COVID-19 (3.55%). Two months ago, 155 patients were hospitalized because of COVID-19 (1.9%).

Nearly one-quarter of current COVID-19 patients are in intensive care units. That’s 461 patients, which is up from 79 a month ago and 35 two months ago.

Ten times as many COVID-19 patients now are ventilated compared to a month ago. That’s 268 patients now, which is up from 26 a month ago and 19 two months ago.

The state reported 18,525 coronavirus were conducted Tuesday with a 14.6% positivity rate, according to the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control.

Two months ago, the positivity rate was 1.68%.

On Thursday, DHEC reported 2,116 new confirmed coronavirus cases in the state and 1,089 probable cases. It also reported 36 confirmed deaths and seven probable deaths.

In the Pee Dee, 152 confirmed cases, 32 probable cases and two deaths were reported.

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Florence County led the region with 97 confirmed cases and 17 probable cases. It also reported one confirmed death.

Darlington County reported 18 confirmed cases and seven probable cases. Dillon County was next (17/10), followed by Marlboro County (6/0), Marion County (6/0) and Williamsburg County (5/1). Marion County also reported one confirmed death.

The state’s cumulative totals now are 550,365 confirmed cases, 126,666 probable cases, 8,964 confirmed deaths and 1,218 probable deaths.

As of Tuesday, 4,162,629 vaccination doses have been received in South Carolina. Of that, 2,342,236 South Carolina residents have received at least one dose (54.5%) and 1,979,845 are fully vaccinated (46.1%). Two months ago, those percentages were 47% and 40.6%, respectively.

DHEC has established a COVID-19 Vaccine Information Line — 1-866-365-8110 — to assist residents in scheduling their COVID vaccinations.

The new vaccine information line launched with 240 phone operators and is available from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week. People who have questions about the COVID-19 vaccines or who need help finding vaccine providers and their contact information are asked to call the DHEC COVID-19 Vaccine Information Line.

DHEC also established a Care Line — 1-855-472-3432.

The Care Line maintains the same hours of operations at the vaccine information line, easily remembered as 7-7-7: available from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week.

The Care Line assists people with general questions about COVID-19, testing, or who need to schedule an appointment at a DHEC health department for SC STRONG appointments, family planning, well-child checkups, WIC services, HIV/STD screening, and other health department services.


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FLORENCE, S.C. – Beginning Friday, Florence One Schools students will not be required to wear masks. Florence One Schools Board Chairman Porter Stewart confirmed at Thursday evening's board of trustees meeting that the 60-day mask mandate implemented by the board in August will expire and that control over masks will return to the administration. Superintendent Rich O'Malley said at the meeting that the administration's policy would be to follow the recommendations of the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control to strongly recommend but not mandate masks in the district's schools. 

COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster is worried that a part of the Build Back Better Act will harm the state's automakers. McMaster sent a letter Tuesday to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy asking Congress to consider amending the bill to remove a section that provides an increased tax incentive for electric cars built in union plants. 

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