We’re tracking the most up-to-date information about the coronavirus and COVID-19 vaccines in South Carolina. Check back for updates.
Cases exceed 480,000
At least 480,361 people have tested positive for the coronavirus in South Carolina and 8,337 have died since March 2020, according to state health officials.
The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control reported 403 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, up from 307 reported the day before.
Twenty-eight coronavirus-related deaths were reported.
At least 487 people were reported hospitalized with COVID-19 on Wednesday, with 127 patients in the ICU.
As of Wednesday, 6.6% of COVID-19 tests were reported positive. Health officials say 5% or lower indicates a low risk of community spread.
More than 1.2 million South Carolina residents had completed COVID-19 vaccination as of Monday, the latest day for which vaccination data is available.
Beaufort will let mask mandate expire
The Beaufort City Council plans to allow its mask mandate to expire at 11:59 pm. Friday, the Island Packet reported.
Council members voted unanimously Tuesday to replace the mandate, in place since last year, with a new ordinance that “strongly encourages” mask use but does not require it.
“I really feel like we can beat this,” Councilman Neil Lipsitz said, hoping residents will make the right choices on their own. “We just need to use common sense.”
SC long-term care facilities face fines
Some South Carolina nursing homes and assisted living facilities are facing hefty fines tied to the state’s COVID-19 reporting rules, according to The State newspaper.
Last year, the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control began requiring long-term care facilities to submit a weekly visitation log to help keep track of which facilities are adhering to the state’s guidance. Those that don’t turn in the report on time are forced to pay.
Linda Walker, an administrator at the Midway Residential Care Facility in Spartanburg County, said the facility has been fined more than $6,300 for violating the visitor reporting rules.
”It’s a waste of time,” Walker said. “When we close down the facilities, we close them down. When we open them up, we open them up. To me, it’s just something more to do. And then if you forget, heaven forbid, it’s thousands upon thousands of dollars.”