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State releases COVID vaccine plan, daily COVID numbers
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State releases COVID vaccine plan, daily COVID numbers

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COVID-19

The COVID-19 virus

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control on Friday submitted to the U.S. Department of Health and Humans Services (HHS) the state’s COVID-19 Vaccination Plan.

The overarching goal of this vaccination plan is the equitable distribution of the vaccine across the state, based on the most current federal guidance and recommendations.

DHEC; the South Carolina Emergency Management Division; South Carolina Hospital Association; National Guard; South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division; Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation; and other public and private sector partners worked closely to develop the plan.

It is available online at scdhec.gov/covid19vaccine.

“Safety is the top priority in any vaccine development and no vaccine will be released until it has undergone the rigorous scientific and clinical testing that’s required as part of all vaccine development,” said Dr. Linda Bell, South Carolina state epidemiologist. “Scientists had already begun research for coronavirus vaccines during previous outbreaks caused by related coronaviruses, and that earlier research provided a head start for rapid development of vaccines to protect against infection with the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV2, the virus that causes COVID-19.”

During the initial stages of the national COVID-19 Vaccination Program, there will be a limited supply of the vaccine. That limited supply will be made available to certain identified groups, including front-line medical workers and nursing home residents. COVID-19 vaccine supply is expected to increase substantially and be more widely available to the public in 2021.

For more information, including frequently asked questions about COVID-19 vaccines, visit scdhec.gov/covid19vaccine.

DHEC Friday also announced 897 new confirmed cases and 76 new probable cases of the novel coronavirus COVID-19, 5 additional confirmed deaths and 3 new probable deaths.

The Pee Dee Friday reported 59 cases. Florence County reported 20 cases, Chesterfield and Dillon counties each reported nine cases, Marlboro County reported eight cases, Darlington County reported seven cases, Marion County reported five cases and Williamsburg County reported one case.

Chesterfield and Dillon counties each reported one death while Marion County rpeorted a probabale death.

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This brings the total number of confirmed cases to 155,799, probable cases to 6,454, confirmed deaths to 3,405, and 210 probable deaths.

If you are out and about in the community, around others, or not able to socially distance or wear a mask, the department recommends that you get tested at least once a month.

Routine testing allows public health workers to diagnose those who are asymptomatic and interrupt the ongoing spread of the virus. Learn more about who should get tested here.

Testing for COVID-19 is essential because it helps identify people who are infected with the virus, whether they have symptoms or not.

Currently, there are 119 mobile testing events scheduled through December 2 and there are 318 permanent COVID-19 testing facilities across the state. Find a testing clinic or event near you at scdhec.gov/covid19testing.

As of Thursday, a total of 1,720,120 tests had been conducted in the state. DHEC’s Public Health Laboratory is operating extended hours and is testing specimens seven days a week, and the Public Health Laboratory’s current timeframe for providing results to health care providers is 24-48 hours.

The total number of individual test results reported to DHEC yesterday statewide was 7,805 (not including antibody tests) and the percent positive was 11.5%.

Hospitals report their information each day to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services by way of TeleTracking, and that same reporting is also provided to DHEC. Click here to view data from today's TeleTracking report.

South Carolina hospitals Friday reported 85.27% inpatient bed utilization rate, 74.5% ICU bed utilization and 28.83% ventilator utilization.

The hospitals reported 8,504 occupied inpatient beds, 1,116 occupied ICU beds, 45 ventilators in use, 769 COVID patients hospitalized, 206 of them in ICU beds and 98 of those ventilated.

Florence County reported 40 hospital beds available, Darlington County reported 50 beds currently available, Chesterfield County reported 18 beds currently available, Dillon County reported 12 beds available, Marion County reported 17 beds available and Williamsburg County reported nine beds currently available.

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