Courtesy MUSC

South Carolina health officials described its plans for vaccine rollout in more detail on Thursday, along with new COVID-19 statistics that show the virus’ continued spread in the state.

On Thursday, DHEC reported 11,500 new tests, 3,935 of which were positive — bringing the percent positive to 34.2%, one of the highest rates the state has seen thus far.

Total number of statewide cases has now reached 310,246 with 5,189 confirmed deaths. Charleston’s total number of cases hit 25,790 on Thursday.

Currently, Phrase 1A of vaccine distribution is well underway in South Carolina with doses made available to healthcare workers, hospice employees, pharmacists and other medical professionals.

The Department of Health and Environmental Control hopes to begin moving into Phase 1B later this winter, at which time vaccines will be made available to the elderly (75 and up) as well as frontline essential workers. Vaccines are currently scheduled to be made available to the public sometime between late spring and the fall of 2021. To learn more about distribution plans, visit scdhec.gov/vaxfacts.

Source: DHEC

Tests are widely available throughout the Lowcountry. Free tests are taking place every Wednesday from 10 a.m-2 p.m. in the parking lot of Edmund’s Oast, and the Charleston International Airport continues to offer free testing next week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 2:30-5:30 p.m.

To find a location near you, visit scdhec.gov/findatest.