South Carolina adds nearly 5,000 new COVID-19 cases, 83 deaths

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South Carolina reported more than 4,700 new COVID-19 cases and 83 more deaths on Friday, according to the state Department of Health and Environmental Control.

Since the start of the pandemic last year, 11,614 people have died from the disease.

DHEC said the 4,777 new cases reported Friday came from testing completed two days earlier. That brings the state’s COVID-19 case count to nearly 820,000, according to DHEC.

Of the new cases reported on Friday, 1,167 were considered “probable” rather than confirmed.

The state conducted 40,559 COVID-19 tests, with 11.9% coming back positive.

At least 48% of the new cases reported Friday were people aged 30 and under.

Children 10 and younger made up 13.8% of the new cases on Friday, while 20.6% of the cases were diagnosed in people between the ages of 11 and 20.

At the earlier height of the pandemic between December and February, only 5.8% of positive cases were kids 10 and under.

The Palmetto State continues to trend in the wrong direction, as cases are soaring.

Last week, South Carolina had its second-highest weekly total of new cases with nearly 38,000. The previous week, there were more than 35,000 new cases. The only higher weekly total was in early January, when the state had more than 40,000 cases. The state hasn’t had fewer than 1,000 new cases on any day since July 24.

The highly contagious delta variant is likely responsible for the majority of new COVID-19 cases in South Carolina, according to state health officials. The exact number of delta cases is unknown because only a fraction of confirmed cases undergo genome sequencing, the process to determine the variant.

At least 173 deaths— less than 1% — of all COVID-related deaths as of Sept. 14 have been from “breakthrough” cases, meaning the person was fully vaccinated. The majority of deaths — 65% — are people ages 71 and up. And about 65% of those who died had comorbid conditions.

Health officials recommend wearing a face mask and getting the coronavirus vaccine to help limit the spread of the virus. South Carolina’s vaccination rate is 50%, one of the lowest in the country.

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