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Staff reports | The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) returned to normal operations, effective March 18, after spending the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic in “modified operations,” according to a press release. 

The move comes as all key indicators for COVID-19 point to the risk for South Carolina remaining particularly low, and the recent omicron variant significantly waning. With this move comes a number of changes, including:

  • Normal visitation has resumed, and current visitor restrictions in MUSC hospitals have been eliminated
  • Pre-procedure testing for COVID-19 is no longer necessary
  • Symptom screening at MUSC Health entrances will end
  • Masking rules are being reassessed for clinical settings and have been lifted in nonclinical settings in MUSC Health. Masks are required through April 18 on MUSC shuttles and buses as per the federal Transportation Security Administration. 

“As we move back into normal operations, we know that many patients and family members may be apprehensive about this change,” MUSC Health CEO Patrick Cawley said in a press release. “We know the overall risk is much reduced, and we feel confident that these changes are safe. We will continue to monitor the situation closely, and should the COVID-19 pandemic change, we can easily resume our previous policies.”

Latest COVID-19 data

Meanwhile, the state Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) transitioned to weekly reporting of new COVID data this week, with Tuesday’s update being the most recent of reports including data taken from March 13-19.

South Carolina health officials on Tuesday reported 1,014 total new cases of COVID-19, with 667 confirmed, and 116 total new deaths, 60 of which were confirmed. As of March 22, 187 COVID-19-positive individuals are hospitalized, and 16 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: 66.8%
  • Percentage of S.C. residents age 12+ who have completed vaccination: 57.7%
  • Percentage of S.C. residents age 5-11 with at least one vaccine: 19.8%
  • Percentage of S.C. residents age 5-11 who have completed vaccination: 16%

For more information, visit the S.C. SCDHEC COVID-19 dashboard.