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Staff reports | Coronavirus infections are rising in several parts of the world, and experts are watching with bated breath for a potential new surge in the United States. Health leaders say, though, that the surge itself isn’t the source for their fear, but rather if it will be detected in time. 

As more people take rapid COVID-19 tests at home, fewer people are getting the gold-standard testing health leaders rely on for case counts and trend predictions. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is also moving to use fewer labs in new variant monitoring. At the same time, White House officials say the government is running out of funds for vaccines, treatments and testing. 

“We’re not in a great situation,” Jennifer Nuzzo, a Brown University pandemic researcher said in an ABC News report

While the wide availability of vaccines and treatments put the nation in a better position than previous surges, the lax attitude state and national leaders have adopted is creating a perfect storm for a stealth variant to spark another surge rivaling delta and omicron, health experts say. 

Latest COVID-19 data

Meanwhile, the state Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) transitioned to weekly reporting of new COVID data this month, 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.

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