Staff reports | The Biden administration is opening CovidTests.gov for a third round of free test orders while continuing to call on Congress to act on additional COVID response funding. 

Meanwhile, The state Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) today reported 5,566 total new cases  of COVID-19 — a slight increase over last week’s 4,458– and 10 total new deaths. Compared to last week’s four.  

U.S. households can now order “an additional eight free at-home tests at CovidTests.gov — bringing the total number of free tests available to each household since the start of the program to 16,” the White House said in a fact sheet released Tuesday. 

“Due to Congress’s failure to provide additional funding for the nation’s COVID-19 response, the Administration cannot continue making the types of federal investments needed to sustain domestic testing manufacturing capacity, and this may jeopardize the federal government’s ability to provide free tests moving forward,” the fact sheet said.

The White House is pushing for $22.5 billion in additional funding for testing.

Aside from breaking or other vital news reports, Charleston City Paper is moving from daily COVID-19 reporting to a weekly basis, with reports coinciding with the publishing of data from the state Department of Health and Environmental Control on Tuesdays. 

Latest COVID-19 data

The state Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) transitioned to weekly reporting of new COVID data in March. The most recent numbers were reported Wednesday and covered May 8-14.

State health officials today reported 5,566 total new cases of COVID-19 — a slight increase over last week — and 10 total new deaths. As of May 17, 116 COVID-19-positive individuals were hospitalized, and six were on ventilators. Compared to last week’s 120 hospitalizations and four ventilators.   

No positivity rate was reported by DHEC.

  • Percentage of S.C. residents age 12+ with at least one vaccine: 67.1%
  • Percentage of S.C. residents age 12+ who have completed vaccination: 58%
  • Percentage of S.C. residents age 5-11 with at least one vaccine: 20.2%
  • Percentage of S.C. residents age 5-11 who have completed vaccination: 16.4%

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