80% of South Carolina counties have ‘high’ COVID-19 rates


COLUMBIA, S.C. (WBTW) — South Carolina continues to see COVID-19 case numbers it hasn’t experienced in about five months, according to information released Friday from the state’s health agency.

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control reported 1,392 new, confirmed cases, 811 probable cases and two confirmed deaths on Friday, based on information it received Wednesday. 

Of the new cases, Horry County had the most in the state, with 154 confirmed cases and another 81 probable ones. 

The new data surpasses the previous day, which had the state with more than 1,000 new, daily cases for the first time since March.

The spread continues as national health agencies worry about the delta variant, with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announcing on Monday that even vaccinated people should resume wearing face masks in crowded indoor areas in places where case numbers are spiking. It also recommended for K-12 students to be masked in schools — a requirement South Carolina schools can’t mandate due to state law. 

About 80% of the state’s counties had moved into the “high” incidence rate category as of Friday, when just a month earlier most were in the “low” category.

The incidence rate is calculated by using the number of new, confirmed cases in a county over a two-week period, per 100,000 people. On Friday, Horry County had a rate of 449 new cases per 100,000 people over two weeks, one of the highest in the state. 

A “low” rate is considered fewer than 50 cases per 100,000 over two weeks, “moderate” is considered between 51 and 200, and a “high” rate is if there are more than 200. 

Friday’s update brings the state’s totals to 505,676 confirmed cases, 111,472 probable cases, 8,731 confirmed deaths and 1,173 probable COVID-19-caused deaths. 

As of Friday, 44.5% of South Carolina residents are fully vaccinated, and 51% have received at least one vaccine dose. 

Case counts for local counties are as follows:

Darlington — Eight confirmed, 11 probable

Dillon — Six confirmed, four probable

Florence — 34 confirmed, 20 probable

Horry — 145 confirmed, 81 probable

Marion — Five confirmed, three probable

Marlboro — Eight confirmed, five probable

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