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Staff reports | The global death toll due to COVID-19 on Monday surpassed 6 million, underscoring that though the pandemic may be waning, its impacts will continue to be felt for years to come.

The milestone is the latest in a long list of tragic reminders that the unrelenting pandemic may still make a resurgence as people shed masks, resume travel and reopen businesses around the globe. Death rates worldwide are still highest among unvaccinated people, visiting professor at the National University of Singapore’s medical school told The Associated Press. 

Despite the milestone, reports suggest the world may have hit the enormous number some time ago. Poor record-keeping and testing backlogs in many parts of the world, including the United States, have led to an undercount in deaths.

“Confirmed deaths represent a fraction of the true number of deaths due to COVID, mostly because of limited testing, and challenges in the attribution of the cause of death,” head of data for the Our World in Data portal Edouard Mathieu told The Associated Press. “In some, mostly rich, countries that fraction is high and the official tally can be considered to be fairly accurate, but in others it is highly underestimated.”

The undercounting and delayed reporting means that while case numbers continue to decline, with new infections hitting startling lows in South Carolina, reported deaths will continue to fluctuate for the foreseeable future. Confirmed new infections dropped below 100 for the first time since last September, before the delta variant surge in fall 2021. 

Latest COVID-19 data

South Carolina health officials on Tuesday reported 125 total new cases of COVID-19, with 91 confirmed, and 35 new deaths, 31 of which were confirmed. As of March 7, 369 COVID-19-positive individuals are hospitalized, 31.7% lower than last week. In addition, 36 COVID-19-positive individuals are ventilated, 35.7% lower than last week. 

With 4,259 test results reported Tuesday, 2.4% were confirmed positive, a dramatic drop in positivity rate seen in previous weeks. 

  • Percentage of S.C. residents age 12+ with at least one vaccine: 66.6%
  • Percentage of S.C. residents age 12+ who have completed vaccination: 57.4%
  • Percentage of S.C. residents age 5-11 with at least one vaccine: 19.5%
  • Percentage of S.C. residents age 5-11 who have completed vaccination: 15.4%

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