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Pandemic likely to be a permanent fixture, experts say

With spotty immunity in the global population and steady cropping up of new variants, the coronavirus is likely to become a persistent but hopefully manageable part of life, according to leading health experts in the United States.

Despite case numbers on a decline in around the country, and hopes high that omicron is the last big surge in the long-lasting pandemic, the course of the virus is bit less rosy than many had hoped.

By infecting so many people, omicron undoubtedly brought us closer to the end of the pandemic, epidemiologists and evolutionary biologists told reporters with The New York Times. The current surge in infections is falling back, and there is reason to hope that hospitalizations and deaths will follow.

But, the population’s immunity against the virus even in the wake of omicron is expected to be imperfect, due to the likely appearance of other variants in the future.

Latest COVID-19 data

South Carolina health officials reported 10,892 total new cases of COVID-19 Jan. 28, with 8,523 confirmed. A total of 85 new deaths, 70 of which were confirmed, were also reported.

Since Jan. 22, the state Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) was unable to publish daily COVID updates due to record numbers of tests being reported. The issue has been rectified, according to a statement by DHEC, but numbers are still delayed.

Percentage of S.C. residents age 12+ with at least one vaccine: 66.4%
Percentage of S.C. residents age 12+ who have completed vaccination: 57%
Percentage of S.C. residents age 5-11 with at least one vaccine: 16.7%
Percentage of S.C. residents age 5-11 who have completed vaccination: 10.9%