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What a difference a few months make in COVID-19 numbers
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What a difference a few months make in COVID-19 numbers

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The COVID-19 virus

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Remember a few months ago when South Carolina was reporting more than 4,000 new confirmed coronavirus cases per day?

Remember when the positivity rate of coronavirus tests was well past 30% per day?

Remember when the roughly 25% of occupied hospital rooms were filled with COVID-19 patients?

How times have changed.

On Friday, state health officials reported 257 new confirmed cases.

Of the 13,016 people in South Carolina who were tested for the coronavirus, the positivity rate was 2.9%.

Of the 9,075 occupied hospital rooms in the state, only 2.69% were filled by COVID-19 patients.

The Pee Dee accounted for 22 new confirmed cases and 13 of the state’s 151 probable cases.

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Of the 10 confirmed deaths and seven probable deaths reported in the state, Florence County reported one confirmed death and Darlington County reported one probable death.

Florence County led the Pee Dee on Friday with 10 confirmed cases and three probable cases. Marlboro County (5/6) was next, followed by Darlington County (4/4), Williamsburg County (2/0) and Marion County (1/0). Dillon County did not report any cases.

The state’s cumulative totals now are 491,391 confirmed cases, 101,260 probable cases, 8,563 confirmed deaths and 1,163 probable deaths.

To date, 7,848,000 COVID-19 tests have been administered in South Carolina.

As of Wednesday, 3,349,352 vaccination doses have been received in South Carolina. Of that, 1,905,275 South Carolina residents have received at least one dose (44.3%) and 1,565,442 are fully vaccinated (36.4%).

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. – Two Florence One high schools will have at least one new assistant principal next year. The Florence One Schools Board of Trustees approved administratively recommended new hires during its June 17 board meeting. “We are happy to have all of these administrators coming on board,” said Florence 1 Schools Superintendent Richard O’Malley. “Administrators play a vital role in our school community and we look forward to the fresh ideas they will bring to their schools and the district.”

FLORENCE, S.C. – A former Florence County Sheriff's deputy will spend a year and a day in federal prison for his involvement in an illegal gambling ring in Florence and Williamsburg counties. Mark Edward Fuleihan, 49, of Florence, was sentenced by Chief Judge R. Bryan Harwell of the District of South Carolina Thursday morning following an earlier guilty plea for operating an illegal gambling business. Fuleihan will serve a three-year term of court-ordered supervision following his release from prison. 

FLORENCE, S.C. – The leadership of Florence One Schools will mostly remain the same. The school district's board of trustees voted unanimously last Thursday evening upon the motion of Chairman Porter Stewart to give Dr. Richard O'Malley an "extremely effective" evaluation for recently ended school year. Stewart's motion also included at one-time bonus of $15,000 and amends to O'Malley's contract to extend it until June 30, 2024 and beginning next month to have the district make O'Malley's retirement contribution to the state retirement program. 

DARLINGTON, S.C. – Five graveyards have been found on a property located north of Florence in Darlington County. Brian Gandy, director of the Darlington County Historical Commission, and Jim Frederick, a professor at Clemson University, announced Monday that they used historic records, old maps and aerial photographs and site exploration to relocate five graveyards at the Clemson University Pee Dee Research and Education Center which is located adjacent to Dargans Pond near the Pee Dee River. 

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