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Schools bearing brunt of latest COVID surge

South Carolina has set national records for COVID-19 hospitalizations in the past few weeks, and new cases have neared peak levels of last winter, but feeling the pandemic’s worst effects are the state’s classrooms.

Classes, schools and entire districts have gone virtual, leaving parents frustrated and teachers quitting weeks into the school year, according to a report by the Associated Press.

Despite the numbers and impacts, the Republican-dominated legislature continues to uphold a provision that effectively stopped most school mask mandates, though some large school districts have circumvented the measure with use of outside funding.

Latest COVID-19 data

South Carolina health officials reported 2,862 total cases of COVID-19 Sept. 20, with 2,357 confirmed. A total of 23 new deaths, with 17 confirmed, were reported Monday.

With 41,722 tests reported, 10.5% were confirmed positive.

Over the weekend, DHEC confirmed 5,927 new cases, with 2,998 confirmed Saturday and 2,929 confirmed Sunday. A total of 66 new deaths were confirmed over the weekend, with 18 deaths confirmed Saturday and 48 deaths confirmed Sunday.

Percentage of S.C. residents with at least 1 vaccine: 59.4%
Percentage of S.C. residents who have completed vaccination: 50.7%