Face mask
| Credit: Photo by Mika Baumeister on Unsplash

COVID numbers ‘flat-out alarming’ to state health officials

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control is reporting numbers and rates of infections threatening to topple previous daily infection records as the omicron variant sweeps across the nation.

New data show Charleston County is reporting the highest number of cases since the start of the pandemic in 2020, with more than 600 cases being reported every day. DHEC public health director Brannon Traxler said the state’s numbers are “flat-out alarming” in a media briefing Thursday.

Traxler went on to say it’s likely numbers will not reach their peak until mid-January, meaning numbers will continue to increase.

The numbers in the state and elsewhere are leading national and state health experts to urge communities to cancel New Year’s Eve plans and stay home.

| Credit: DHEC data

Latest COVID-19 data

South Carolina health officials reported 8,882 total cases of COVID-19 Dec. 31, with 6,319 confirmed. A total of 19 new deaths, with 14 confirmed, were also reported.

With 29,942 tests reported Friday, 25.6% were confirmed positive.

Percentage of S.C. residents age 12+ with at least one vaccine: 65.1%
Percentage of of S.C. residents age 12+ who have completed vaccination: 56.2%
Percentage of S.C. residents age 5-11 with at least one vaccine: 12.3%
Percentage of S.C. residents age 5-11 who have completed vaccination: 7.3%