We’re tracking the most up-to-date information about the coronavirus and COVID-19 vaccines in South Carolina. Check back for updates.
Cases near 477,000
At least 476,958 people have tested positive for the coronavirus in South Carolina and 8,247 have died since March 2020, according to state data.
The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control on Wednesday reported 391 new COVID-19 cases, up from 362 reported the day before.
Eleven coronavirus-related deaths were also reported.
At least 529 people were reported hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Wednesday, with 147 patients in intensive care.
As of Wednesday, 6.3% of COVID-19 tests were reported positive. Health officials say 5% or lower indicates a low risk of community spread.
More than 1.1 million South Carolina residents — or 27.2% of the state’s population — had completed COVID-19 vaccination as of Monday.
School reopening bill awaits McMaster’s signature
A bill approved by the House and Senate requiring all South Carolina K-12 schools to open five days a week for in-person instruction is almost law; it just needs Gov. Henry McMaster’s signature.
“I will sign it as soon as it gets to my desk,” McMaster said Wednesday.
Once signed, schools must comply with the reopening demands by April 26.
Nearly all of the state’s 1,210 public schools are already offering in-person classes five days a week, while 51 are using hybrid models with in-person learning two to four days a week.
SC to require jobless residents to start looking for work again
Faced with what’s being called a “historic worker shortage,” the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce says it will reinstate its work search requirement for residents receiving jobless benefits, The Sun News reported.
Those who are unemployed must be actively searching for work, if they wish to continue getting weekly unemployment payments.
The state nixed the work search requirement last year due to economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. Now, DEW says it’s time for jobless residents to begin perusing the want ads again.
“We continue to be encouraged by the progress being made in the state’s economic recovery as more South Carolinians head back to work,” DEW Executive Director Dan Ellzey said in a statement.