COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) – The state’s lead health agency announced on Tuesday a combined total of more than 26,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases spanning December 30 through January 2.

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control data show the highest number of cases were recorded on New Year’s Eve with 7,985 cases and the day after with 6,600 cases. These numbers do not include the probable cases. (Dec 30: 6,974; Dec 31: 7,985; Jan 1: 6,600; Jan 2: 4,568 cases.)

The agency said there were 8,867 total probable cases in addition to the 26,127 confirmed cases over the same period. (Dec 30: 3,655; Dec 31: 2,558; Jan 1: 1,731; Jan 2: 923 probable cases.) That is a total of 34,994 confirmed and probable cases.

DHEC delivered a stern warning to South Carolinians ahead of the new year holiday about large social gatherings and celebrations as the state dealt with a surge in new cases.

“We are at a crucial moment in this pandemic. We don’t want to start 2022 with record numbers of hospitalizations and deaths, and we are headed in that direction,” Dr. Brannon Traxler, DHEC Public Health Director.

“We know the Omicron variant is spreading all throughout our state. But we also know a full vaccination series, which DHEC now considers an initial vaccination and ideally a booster shot for ages 16 and up, will stave off severe cases of COVID and all its variants,” said Dr. Traxler. “We urge our residents to not waste time. Protect yourselves and your families against this deadly virus.”

DHEC also announced a combined total of 35 confirmed deaths, bringing the total to 12,689. Click here for a breakdown of deaths by county.

The percent positive for Tuesday is 27.9%. Note: DHEC has implemented a new method for calculating percent positive. Although rates seem lower, the spread is still high. Click here for more information.

DHEC says a total of 13,221,170 tests have been conducted in the state. A detailed breakdown of tests in South Carolina is available on DHEC’s Data and Projections webpage. 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.

DHEC now reports over 1 million confirmed and probably COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic.

Click here for additional details, including case numbers by zip code, a case count breakdown, and recovery rate.