We’re tracking the most up-to-date information about the coronavirus and COVID-19 vaccines in South Carolina. Check back for updates.
Cases surpass 468,000
At least 468,525 people have tested positive for the coronavirus in South Carolina and 8,112 have died since March 2020, according to state health officials.
The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control on Tuesday reported 358 new confirmed COVID-19 cases, down from 641 reported the day before.
No coronavirus-related deaths were reported Tuesday.
At least 509 people were reported hospitalized with COVID-19, with about 132 of them in intensive care units.
As of Tuesday, 5.0% of COVID-19 tests were reported positive. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 5% or lower means there is a low level of community spread.
More than 2.1 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in South Carolina, and nearly 800,000 people in the state have “completed vaccination” as of Friday.
ACLU sues Gov. McMaster for ordering workers back to offices
The American Civil Liberties Union of South Carolina is suing Gov. Henry McMaster for an order he issued last month calling all state employees back to their offices.
The lawsuit says McMaster overstepped his authority and that his order will disproportionately hurt women, Black people, caregivers and people with disabilities, The State reported.
McMaster’s order came amid falling COVID-19 cases in the state and increasing vaccinations.
The ACLU called it “dangerous, irresponsible and completely unnecessary.”
McMaster’s office responded Tuesday, pointing out that the order gave employees weeks to prepare for their return.
“South Carolinians all over the state have been going to work, in person, throughout the last year and they have been able to do it safely,” spokesman Brian Symmes said, adding, “It’s ridiculous to think that requiring employees to go to work is discriminatory in any way.”
No appointment necessary for single-dose vaccine in Hamilton County
Hamilton County residents have four chances to receive the single-dose Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine — with no appointment necessary, The Island Packet reported.
Starting Tuesday, everyone 18 and older can get vaccinated at various locations across the county via mobile clinics hosted by the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control.
“It is my hope that every American will get vaccinated as soon as they are able so that we may save lives and ultimately defeat this virus,” U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn said in a statement announcing the event.
The clinics will be open between April 6 and April 13 and will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
To learn more, read the full story here.
SC awarded federal grant to expand vaccination initiative
South Carolina is set to receive over $47 million in federal funds to expand and improve its vaccination efforts to nonwhite communities disproportionately affected by the pandemic, The State reported.
The funding for the program will be doled out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“Millions of Americans are getting vaccinated every day, but we need to ensure that we are reaching those in the communities hit hardest by this pandemic,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said in a statement. “This investment will support state and local health departments and community-based organizations as they work on the frontlines to increase vaccine access, acceptance, and uptake.”
The state must use at least 75% of the funding for vaccine access and uptake initiatives in minority communities, while 60% will go to local health departments.