SC DHEC reports nearly 1,000 new COVID-19 cases, 14 more deaths | COVID-19
SC DHEC reports nearly 1,000 new COVID-19 cases, 14 more deaths |  COVID-19

SC DHEC reports nearly 1,000 new COVID-19 cases, 14 more deaths | COVID-19

The SC Department of Health and Environmental Control reported nearly 1,000 new COVID-19 cases and 14 additional deaths.

On February 23, the health agency also announced its support for updated vaccination guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC said that people aged 12-64 who are not immunocompromised can wait as long as eight weeks between the first and second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or twice the typical period.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration previously approved a buffer period of three or four weeks between doses.

Potential benefits of waiting the extra month include giving the body more time to build a stronger immune response to the virus and a reduced risk of rare side effects from the vaccine, according to the CDC.

DHEC supports the new recommended time frame. Officials urged anyone not vaccinated to speak to their doctor.

Those who have already completed their vaccination series remain well protected against a serious COVID-19 case, especially if they have also received a booster shot, according to the state agency.

State-wide figures

New cases reported: 586 confirmed, 413 probable.

Total number of cases in SC: 1,140,717 confirmed, 316,273 probable.

New deaths reported: 11 confirmed, three probable.

Total deaths in SC: 14,155 confirmed, 2,459 probable.

Percentage of ICU beds filled (with COVID-19 and other patients): 76.40 percent.

Positive percentage: 12.8

SC residents vaccinated

In South Carolina, 62.9 percent of those eligible for the vaccine have received at least one dose, and 54 percent of eligible residents are considered to be fully vaccinated against coronavirus.

This number reflects all eligible South Carolina residents, including young children. The latest data from DHEC show that 18.3 percent of children aged 5-11 have at least one vaccine dose.

Hardest hit areas

York (80), Aiken (74) and Lexington (67) counties experienced the highest total number of new cases.

What about tri-county?

Charleston County had 50 new cases, while Dorchester had 28 and Berkeley reported 22.

Deaths: Dead

DHEC is releasing county-level data on COVID-19 deaths and the age of those who died of the virus on Tuesday. According to the latest data from February 22, at least 336 people in South Carolina died of the virus 13-19. February.

Admissions

Of the 876 COVID-19 patients admitted on February 23, 177 were in the intensive care unit and 91 used ventilators.

What do experts say?

State health agency officials continue to urge residents to remain vigilant as the number of new COVID-19 cases continues to fluctuate in South Carolina. This includes masking in public places, vaccinations and boosters when warranted.

Vaccination remains the most effective way to control the virus, according to the agency. Go to https://vaxlocator.dhec.sc.gov to find a clinic near you.

The best of health, hospital and science coverage in South Carolina, delivered to your inbox weekly.

Call Olivia Diaz at 843-901-2995. Follow her on Twitter @oliviardiaz.


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