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Editor’s note: After today’s update, City Paper will be shifting COVID-19 coverage to Saturdays only. With fewer cases and more vaccine availability, we will provide weeklong case totals on Saturdays and note any developments since the previous update.

What you need to know: South Carolina’s Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) is urging those aged 12 and up to get vaccinated ahead of the upcoming school year. “It takes about five weeks to achieve full vaccination, so students who are eligible for the vaccine don’t have a lot of time to spare if they want to protect themselves and their friends during the upcoming school year,” said Dr. Brannon Traxler, the state’s public health director, in a press release.

According to the release, the state agency expects the CDC to provide “updated school operations guidance” for the upcoming school year “within the next few weeks.” Source: DHEC

Latest COVID-19 data

South Carolina health officials reported 147 total cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday (86 confirmed, 61 probable), with two confirmed death.

With 5,148 tests reported Wednesday, 2.5% were positive.

DHEC

Confirmed cases in S.C.: 493,140 (+86)
Total positive cases in Charleston County: 43,958 (+9)
Total positive cases in Berkeley County: 17,999 (+5)
Total positive cases in Dorchester County: 18,398 (+5)
Deaths in S.C. from COVID-19: 8,639 (+2)