Photo by Mufid Majnun on Unsplash

South Carolina set a record number of cases of COVID-19 on Friday — 6,319 confirmed of 8,882 reported — as the Omicron variant is causing a record surge in infections. Also Friday, state officials announced a total of 19 new deaths, including 14 confirmed. The percentage of positive tests is skyrocketing, with 25.6% of almost 30,000 tests were confirmed positive. With state offices closed today, the next new numbers will be released Wednesday. More: WCSC TVCharleston City PaperThe Post and CourierAssociated PressThe Washington PostThe New York Times

In other headlines:

New S.C. license plate depiction ‘iconic’ image of 1776 battle now available. South Carolina drivers can now signal their pride in South Carolina’s Revolutionary War role with a 250-year anniversary license plate. The Post and Courier 

Severe weather forecast through noon, threatening schools and cutting power. A strong low-pressure system was forecast to hit the Lowcountry late Jan. 2 until noon today, which could bring severe thunderstorms with heavy winds to the region. More: The Post and CourierWCSC TVWCIV TV

S.C. legislators aim to get modified ‘Carolina Squat’ trucks off highways. Legislators want to keep the “Carolina Squat” off the Palmetto State’s roadways, saying drivers of the modified trucks can’t see what’s in front of them. More: The Post and Courier 

Charleston celebrates 156th Emancipation parade in person. Olympic silver medalist Raven Saunders acted as grand marshal for the 156th annual Emancipation Proclamation Parade on Jan. 1, the first celebrated in person since the onset of the pandemic. More: WCSC TVThe Post and Courier 

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