Photo by Fusion Medical Animation on Unsplash

Past infection may not fend off omicron, study suggests

South African health experts warned that reinfections among people who’ve previously contracted COVID-19 appear to be more common than with previous variants like delta.

The findings are preliminary and haven’t yet undergone scientific review, but the timing of a spike in reinfections coinciding with the arrival of omicron suggests that the variant “demonstrates substantial population-level evidence for evasion of immunity from prior infection,” researchers wrote.

Additionally, the omicron variant is likely to have picked up genetic material from another virus that causes the common cold, according to another preliminary study by researchers from Cambridge-based firm Nference. This would mean the omicron variant could be far more contagious than previous variants, but the study is in preprint and has not been peer-reviewed.

Latest COVID-19 data

South Carolina health officials reported 799 total cases of COVID-19 Dec. 6, with 567 confirmed. A total of 21 new deaths, with 18 confirmed, were also reported.

Over the weekend, DHEC confirmed 1,479 new cases, with 838 confirmed Saturday, and 641 confirmed Sunday. total of 20 new deaths were also confirmed over the weekend, with 17 deaths confirmed Saturday, and 3 confirmed Sunday.

With 16,260 tests reported Monday, 4.8% were confirmed positive.

Percentage of S.C. residents age 12+ with at least one vaccine: 63.5%
Percentage of of S.C. residents age 12+ who have completed vaccination: 55.3%
Percentage of S.C. residents age 5-11 with at least one vaccine: 8.3%
Percentage of S.C. residents age 5-11 who have completed vaccination: 2.7%