Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

About 25% of parents were intentionally dishonest about their child’s Covid-19 status, according to a study on pandemic behavior published Monday by peer-reviewed journal Jama Network Open.

Meanwhile, state reports show the community level of the Covid-19 virus has changed from low to medium in the Charleston area, and 40 people died statewide from Covid in the week ending March 4. 

The study surveyed 580 participants, although its methods may not have been demographically representative since the publication recruited respondents online and did not conduct random sampling, The Washington Post reported. Jama Network Open conducted the survey in December 2021 and collaborated with American and British university researchers.

The study’s authors concluded parents’ behavior may have exacerbated the spread of Covid-19. The most common explanations from survey respondents about why they did not accurately report kids’ Covid-19 status include protecting personal freedoms and the desire for children to return to a “normal life.”

Parents also said they wanted kids to remain in school and participate in after school activities, while others said they lied because they could not afford to miss work.

Andrea Gurmankin Levy, the lead author of the report, told The Washington Post that implementing paid sick leave policies is important, so parents don’t feel that dishonesty is necessary in these types of situations. 

Latest COVID-19 data

State health officials encourage residents to refer to the CDC’s community levels map to track the severity of Covid-19. As of March 7, Charleston County’s community level has changed from low to medium since the previous reporting period. 

For the week ending March 4, Covid-related hospitalizations in Charleston were down 13.7%  in comparison to the week ending Feb. 25. For the week ending March 4, state officials reported 40 people died from Covid-19 — 6 more deaths than the previous week. In this period, 2,763 new cases were reported — 338 fewer than the previous reporting period.

SCDHEC transitioned to weekly reporting of new Covid data in December 2022. The most recent numbers were reported Tuesday and covered Feb. 26 – March 4. In other data:

  • Percentage of S.C. residents age 12+ with at least one vaccine: 69.6%
  • Percentage of S.C. residents age 12+ who have completed vaccination: 60.7%
  • Percentage of S.C. residents age 5-11 with at least one vaccine: 23.6%
  • Percentage of S.C. residents age 5-11 who have completed vaccination: 19.6%

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

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