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Omicron found in multiple states; delta surging in absence of guidelines

The omicron variant of COVID-19, previously undetected in the U.S., has been discovered in at least five states by the end of the day Thursday: California, New York, Colorado, Hawaii and Minnesota.

Much still remains unknown about omicron, including how contagious it is and whether it can power through existing vaccines. A study published Thursday by British journal Lancet shows Pfizer and Moderna shots may work best against the new variant.

The World Health Organization also endorses the idea, saying measures used to counter the delta variant should work as the foundation for fighting the omicron variant.

A separate study conducted by health officials in South Africa shows it may be three times as likely to cause reinfection, showing a “substantial ability to evade immunity from prior infection.”

Latest COVID-19 data

South Carolina health officials reported 1,381 total cases of COVID-19 Dec. 3 with 871 confirmed. A total of 3 deaths were also reported, all confirmed.

With 26,614 tests reported Monday, 4.5% were confirmed positive.

Percentage of S.C. residents age 12+ with at least one vaccine: 63.2%
Percentage of of S.C. residents age 12+ who have completed vaccination: 55.1%
Percentage of S.C. residents age 5-11 with at least one vaccine: 7.6%
Percentage of S.C. residents age 5-11 who have completed vaccination: 1.4%