“There will probably never be zero COVID cases,” says the health director at SC
“There will probably never be zero COVID cases,” says the health director at SC

“There will probably never be zero COVID cases,” says the health director at SC

COLUMBIA, SC (WCSC) – The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control’s director of public health said it’s time to change our mentality to a “new normal” with COVID-19.

Dr. Brannon Traxler said during a weekly COVID briefing on Wednesday that COVID has unfortunately “come to stay.”

“Like the flu or many other viruses or bacteria, there will probably never be zero cases of COVID-19 in the world,” she said. “As a public health agency, our goal is to figure out how we can bring cases and hospitalizations and deaths down to a level that allows us to live our normal lives with very few interruptions.”

She said all South Carolinans should “act responsibly” and accept their role in making the adjustment to an “endemic” from a “pandemic.”

“That means you have to be tested when recommended,” she said. “Take advantage of the resources available.”

She said free fast antigen test kits are available in most DHEC health departments across the state. The agency’s online test locator provides a real-time snapshot of which of these health departments have them in stock.

In addition, COVID tests.gov still offer these free tests by mail to every household, she said.

“When we remove all our differences and policies and all other factors and focus on exactly what is ahead of us, I think we can all agree on two things: neither of us asked for this pandemic and we would all love watching it go away, “she said.” We have a roadmap to reach that goal. It is up to each individual to accept reality and do their part with cases and hospitalizations with declining tests and vaccines that are readily available. Now is the time to get together and finish this job. “

The agency’s weekly briefings typically take place at 2 p.m., but there was no immediate explanation for the reason for the earlier schedule.

The state released four days of COVID data on Tuesday as it did not release any numbers on Monday due to President’s Day. The total number of new cases in this report was 4,627, a dramatic drop from just a month earlier. A four-day total reported on January 25 showed more than 68,000 cases.

DHEC reported a total of 68 deaths during the four days, with 11 deaths in Lowcountry counties.

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