Photo by Mick Haupt on Unsplash

A top state health official on Thursday implored state residents to stay home to help flatten the “alarming” surge in COVID-19 cases.

“Please consider staying home for the New Year’s Eve celebrations so COVID-19 can’t impact you and the people that you love,” said Dr. Brannon Traxler, public health director for the state Department of Health and Environmental Control, said during a media briefing.

Officials reported 5,911 total cases of COVID-19 Dec. 30, with 3,354 confirmed. A total of 10 new deaths, with one confirmed, were also reported. With 22,116 tests reported Wednesday, 20.5% were confirmed positive. Percentage of S.C. residents age 5-11 with at least one vaccine: 12%. Percentage of S.C. residents age 12+ with at least one vaccine: 65%. More: WCSC TV, Greenville News, The Post and Courier, The Washington Post, The New York Times

In other headlines:

Forbes 30-under-30 indoor farm founder plans for more growth in 2022. One of the food industry’s top entrepreneurs in 2021, Sam Norton is earning national acclaim for his innovative work at Heron Farms, an indoor vertical saltwater farm delivering sea beans to Charleston restaurants. More: The Post and Courier, Charleston City Paper

Sixth earthquake in four days rocks Midlands. Another earthquake shook up the Midlands Thursday morning near Elgin, the sixth since Dec. 27. More: The State 

I-26 drivers should expect nighttime lane closures, possible delays. The S.C. Department of Transportation said the outer eastbound and westbound lanes of I-26 will on Jan. 4 close for road work from 7 p.m. until 5 a.m. and 6 a.m., respectively. More: The Post and Courier 

Local leaders weigh options for spending ARPA funds. As federal dollars make their way to communities across the country, Greenwood County’s heads are trying to make sense of what the law allows local governments to spend these funds on. More: The Index-Journal 

To get dozens of South Carolina news stories every business day, contact the folks at SC Clips.

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