Photo courtesy MUSC Health

What you need to know: South Carolina health officials are concerned about the chance of a surge in COVID cases, though 20.5% of residents are now fully vaccinated according to the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC).

Latest COVID-19 data

South Carolina health officials reported 495 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, with 450 probable cases on Thursday, with 20 additional confirmed deaths.

With 11,376 tests reported Thursday, 5.6% were positive.

Source: Department of Health and Environmental ControlInstitute for Health Metrics and Evaluation

Confirmed cases in S.C.: 469,467 (+495)
Total positive cases in Charleston County: 41,134 (+53)
Total positive cases in Berkeley County: 16,450 (+27)
Total positive cases in Dorchester County: 16,576 (+19)
Deaths in S.C. from COVID-19: 8,138 (+20)

COVID-19 news today

On Thursday, DHEC assistant state epidemiologist Dr. Jane Kelly told Columbia’s WIS-TV, “I think people are feeling optimistic because we’ve had decreasing trends over the past nine weeks but it’s starting to flatten out. It’s plateaued in South Carolina.”

After many people traveled for the Easter holiday and spring break, some experts warn that an increase in cases is possible — and it’s already happening in other areas of the country like Michigan and Florida.

Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN’s Anderson Cooper, “It’s almost a race between getting people vaccinated and this surge that seems to want to increase.”

Even if you’ve already been vaccinated, health experts are urging the public to remain diligent about precautions like wearing masks to try and lower the chance of a surge in South Carolina and across the country.