South Carolina COVID-19 cases are 'spiking,' DHEC says – WYFF4 Greenville

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COVID-19 cases in South Carolina are spiking, according to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.
DHEC says the updated community levels map for South Carolina from the Centers for Disease Control shows 29 counties with high levels of COVID-19 and 11 counties with medium levels.
Here is a breakdown of those counties:
Counties with high community levels: Aiken, Anderson, Bamberg, Barnwell, Berkeley, Calhoun, Charleston, Chesterfield, Colleton, Darlington, Dillon, Dorchester, Edgefield, Fairfield, Florence, Georgetown, Greenville, Hampton, Horry, Kershaw, Lexington, Marion, Marlboro, Newberry, Oconee, Orangeburg, Pickens, Richland and Williamsburg.
Counties with medium community levels: Allendale, Beaufort, Cherokee, Chester, Clarendon, Lancaster, Lee, Spartanburg, Sumter, Union, and York.
DHEC is recommending in communities with medium levels of COVID-19, individuals who are at higher risk of contracting COVID-19 as well as those who are regularly around immunocompromised individuals are encouraged to mask up, while it is optional for others.
In communities with high levels of COVID-19, DHEC is recommending masking in indoor settings, including schools and workplaces.
DHEC said from July 17 through July 23 more than 16,000 new COVID-19 cases were reported statewide with nine new deaths and 538 hospitalizations.
DHEC held a virtual media briefing on Wednesday and said hospitalizations are now a major concern.
The full briefing is posted below:
They also encouraged parents to get students vaccinated before the school year begins.
“Our students and teachers have been significantly impacted by COVID-19,” Dr. Brannon Traxler said. “With vaccines readily available now for everyone 6 months old and up there’s no better time than now for all children to get their COVID-19 vaccination. So that they can focus 100% on school.”
Traxler also spoke about COVID-19 vaccinations. She said DHEC is ordering doses of Novavax, which is the newest COVID-19 vaccine.
Traxler also spoke about the antiviral Paxlovid, which President Joe Biden used to treat the virus.
“The monoclonal antibodies there’s only one that is still effective against this Omicron and particularly this subvariant that we are seeing BA4 and BA5,” Traxler said. “And so we really are seeing an increased emphasis the oral, the pills by mouth, which are the Molnupiravir Paxlovid, with the Paxlovid being the most commonly used one.”

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The CDC's updated community levels map for South Carolina includes 29 counties with high levels of COVID-19 and 11 counties with medium levels.
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