Courtesy MUSC

South Carolina health officials reported 4,986 new cases of the coronavirus on Friday and 28 additional confirmed deaths. With 15,691 tests reported, 31.8% were positive.

Friday’s totals represent the highest single-day positive case report since the pandemic began.

Source: DHEC

Meanwhile, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control announced today that South Carolina hospitals should start vaccinating admitted patients 65 years old and older as long as they do not currently have COVID-19.

Adding this group to the list of those currently eligible for the vaccine in Phase 1a is part of DHEC’s efforts to speed up the number of South Carolinians getting vaccinated against COVID-19, according to a press release from DHEC.

“It is within our state’s best interest to allow hospitals to begin vaccinating their admitted patients who are aged 65 years and older,” said DHEC Interim Public Health Director Brannon Traxler. “By moving up these patients who are currently admitted in our hospitals we are ensuring that the most vulnerable among us are being vaccinated as quickly as possible.”

DHEC officials remind those who are not currently included in Phase 1a of vaccine distribution not to reach out to hospitals to schedule appointments at this time. Continue to listen for updates from local health officials to determine when it is time to receive the vaccine, DHEC wrote in a press release.