COVID cases in South Carolina jump by more than 20,000 in 4-day period

By Andrew Caplan

COLUMBIA, S.C. — More than 20,000 people were infected with the coronavirus and 193 others died over a four-day span, according to data released by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control on Tuesday.

The data were recorded from Sept. 2-5.

That brings the state's COVID-19 case count to more than 773,000 since the beginning of the pandemic, according to DHEC. The statewide death toll is now 10,972.

The Labor Day weekend saw 6,085 new cases and 38 deaths on Saturday. Data for Sunday showed 5,735 more cases and 73 deaths. It was the fifth consecutive day the state saw more than 5,000 new cases each.

On Monday, the agency recorded 4,800 cases and 53 deaths. That number dropped Tuesday with 3,757 cases and 28 deaths.

Of the new cases reported over the four-day span, 3,765 were listed as "probable" rather than confirmed.

The state hasn't seen fewer than 1,000 new cases on any day since July 24.

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

Last week, South Carolina saw its second-highest weekly total for 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 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 130 deaths — fewer than 1% — of all COVID-related deaths as of Tuesday 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 currently has a 48.7% vaccination rate, one of the lowest in the country.

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