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White House report: S.C. has 9th highest COVID-19 test positivity rate in the country

Updated: Jan. 6, 2021 at 11:48 AM EST
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WMBF) – The test positivity rate for COVID-19 in South Carolina is among the highest in the nation, according to a new White House report.

The Jan. 3 report shows S.C. is in the red zone for cases, indicating 101 or more new cases per 100,000 population. It is the 24th highest rate in the country.

S.C. is also in the red zone for test positivity, indicating a rate at or above 10.1%, with the ninth highest rate in the U.S., according to the report. It was listed as 19.7%.

“South Carolina has seen a decrease in new cases, but this is due to significant declines in testing,” the report states. “The increase in test positivity and rising new COVID admissions are all consistent with active and expanding community spread.”

The report states South Carolina’s new cases per 100,000 population is below the national average of 413. The Palmetto State had 371 new cases per 100,000 population.

MORE INFORMATION | COVID-19 County-Level Data

According to the White House report, between Dec. 26 and Jan. 1, on average, 241 patients with confirmed COVID-19 and 135 patients with suspected COVID-19 were admitted each day to hospitals in South Carolina. This is a 23% increase in total new COVID-19 hospital admissions.

“Do not delay the rapid immunization of those over 65 and vulnerable to severe disease; recommend creation of high throughput vaccination sites with use of EMT personnel to monitor for potential anaphylaxis and fully utilize nursing students,” the report recommends. “No vaccines should be in freezers but should instead be put in arms now; active and aggressive immunization in the face of this surge would save lives.”

FORGING AHEAD | WMBF investigates South Carolina’s vaccine distribution process

According to information from the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control, 146,250 total doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine have been received as of Jan. 5.

Of that number, 129,675 are the initial dose of the Pfizer vaccine, with 42,692 doses administered to date for 33% utilization, according to DHEC data.

The remaining 16,575 represent the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine that S.C. has received as of Jan. 5, according to DHEC. Of that amount, 140 doses have been administered for a 1% utilization rate.

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