Photo by Mick Haupt on Unsplash

Staff reports | U.S. health experts say Americans don’t need to fear a repeat of the delta and omicron surges that overwhelmed the nation’s health care system and disrupted the economy as millions fell ill, despite climbing case numbers  in the Northeast where the more contagious BA.2 omicron subvariant is taking hold.

Health officials point to promising recoveries in Great Britain and other countries that have been strong portenders of the pandemic’s trend in the U.S.  Experts also say the current uptick was expected with the end of mask mandates and other pandemic-era restrictions. 

David Rubin, who tracks coronavirus trends for PolicyLab at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, said in a Washington Post report that it was premature to describe what’s happening as a new wave, as opposed to a “period of increased transmission.’

“This is what living with the virus means: You are aware of what’s going on, you are hearing about cases in your own community, and you may decide to wear your mask at the market or alter your routine for a couple of weeks,” he told the Post.

The wave of infections in the Northeast was more than twice as high in the West, Midwest and Southeast last week, according to federal data. Though it’s still far short of the 2,200 cases per 100,000 people peak during the mid-January omicron surge. 

Official case counts, however, do not provide a full picture of the pandemic due to at-home test results going unreported to health agencies. But the Northeast is also reporting the largest increases in infected patients admitted to hospitals amid other U.S. regions. The increases are modest, and overall hospitalizations have been stable. 

Latest COVID-19 data

In South Carolina, the state Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) transitioned to weekly reporting of new COVID data last month, with Tuesday’s update being the most recent of reports including data taken from April 3-9.

State health officials on Tuesday reported 1,071 total new cases of COVID-19, with 711 confirmed, and five total new deaths, three of which were confirmed. As of April 9, 108 COVID-19-positive individuals are hospitalized, and 10 COVID-19-positive individuals are ventilated.

No positivity rate was reported by DHEC.

  • Percentage of S.C. residents age 12+ with at least one vaccine: 67.1%
  • Percentage of S.C. residents age 12+ who have completed vaccination: 58%
  • Percentage of S.C. residents age 5-11 with at least one vaccine: 20.2%
  • Percentage of S.C. residents age 5-11 who have completed vaccination: 16.4%

For more information, visit the S.C. SCDHEC COVID-19 dashboard.

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