Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Staff reports | The United States has officially exited the pandemic phase of COVID-19, according to President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Fauci on PBS’s NewsHour on Tuesday said the U.S. has entered the transition phase. 

“Namely, we don’t have 900,000 new infections a day and tens and tens and tens of thousands of hospitalizations and thousands of deaths. We are at a low level right now. So if you’re saying, are we out of the pandemic phase in this country? We are,” he said.

He later clarified however, that doesn’t mean the pandemic is over, but rather in a different phase of the pandemic as a whole, hopefully headed toward more normalcy in terms of socialization, economy, schooling and more. 

Fauci said while COVID-19 cases are trending back up again, it’s not anywhere close to the meteoric rises seen ahead of the Delta and Omicron surges in late 2021 and early 2022. And with the availability of vaccines and boosters, even as infections go up, the rates of severe illness are on a decline. 

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. This week’s data has been delayed due to testing of planned upgrades to the state’s data system, DHEC said in a statement. This means last Tuesday’s update being the most recent of reports including data taken from April 10-16.

State health officials on Tuesday reported 1,521 total new cases of COVID-19, with 996 confirmed, and seven total new deaths, six of which were confirmed. As of April 18, 90 COVID-19-positive individuals are hospitalized, and nine 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.