COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina reached a grim coronavirus milestone Wednesday when it surpassed 10,000 deaths.
With 15 new deaths (14 confirmed) announced Wednesday, the state now has cumulative totals of 8,823 confirmed deaths and 1,184 probable deaths, bringing the total to 10,007.
“While statistics are useful to measure data, there is no statistic for grief or comfort in a milestone for those who have lost family members and loved ones,” said Dr. Edward Simmer, the executive director of the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.
“To all those families across South Carolina, I want to say my deepest sympathy is with you. I know I also speak on behalf of the thousands of dedicated DHEC employees across our great state who are working non-stop to help prevent more lives from being lost.”
On Wednesday, 1,680 new confirmed coronavirus cases and 880 probable cases were reported statewide.
In the Pee Dee, 72 confirmed cases and 17 probable cases were reported.
Florence County led the region with 35 confirmed cases and five probable cases. Dillon County was next (12/0), followed by Darlington County (9/4), Marion County (7/3), Williamsburg County (7/1) and Marlboro County (2/4).
No deaths were reported Wednesday in the Pee Dee.
“There is only one way to prevent more lives from being lost, and that is through vaccination,” Simmers said in a statement posted on DHEC’s website. “Hundreds of millions of Americans have been fully vaccinated, including nearly two million South Carolinians.
“But our work is not done. That number only represents 45 percent of South Carolinians eligible for the vaccine, and it does not count all those aged 11-and-under who are not yet eligible for the vaccine but who depend on the rest of us to protect them.
“Although one month ago it looked like the pandemic was improving, the arrival of the Delta variant has created a surge in new cases and deaths that we have to take seriously. Until we reach a critical percentage of South Carolinians vaccinated that can stifle COVID-19’s spread, we are not out of danger. And the longer that takes, the more time the virus has to mutate into new, harder-to-control variants.”
Right now, the vaccines are all safe, reliable and available,” Simmer said. “They work and are our best chance at preventing more infections, hospitalizations and deaths. Please, get fully vaccinated if you aren’t, and continue to follow CDC and DHEC guidelines about universal mask use indoors in public places.
“South Carolinians have a well-deserved reputation for working together and taking care of each other. Now more than ever, we need to do so. If we do, we will defeat COVID-19, which has already taken so much from so many.”