CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - One year into the coronavirus pandemic, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control has released a video to share a message of hope and gratitude.
Saturday marks one year since the first two suspected COVID-19 cases in South Carolina. DHEC says people across the state have stepped up to support our each other during this global pandemic.
DHEC has released a video on their website thanking South Carolinians for their commitment to taking actions to help end the pandemic. Additionally they encouraged everyone to keep up the work.
“Together, with the support of many, DHEC employees remain steadfast in our commitment to saving lives and ending the worst pandemic our country has seen in over 100 years,” DHEC Director Dr. Edward Simmer said. “As we mark more than a year in our fight against COVID-19, we reflect on our journey together and we thank our partners and all South Carolinians for your continued efforts to support our state and each other during this unprecedented time. Together, we will get through this and come out stronger and better.”
Earlier this week, South Carolina announced because of steady progress with the state’s phased COVID-19 vaccination plan, the state will advance to the next phase, Phase 1b, beginning Monday.
“While great strides have been made to enhance access to vaccines in South Carolina, we recognize that our response to COVID-19 is not yet over,” State Epidemiologist Dr. Linda Bell said. “The COVID-19 vaccine is our light at the end of the tunnel. Until enough of us can get vaccinated, we need everyone to do your part by continuing to wear your mask and stay six feet apart from others.”
On March 6, 2020, South Carolina announced it was investigating the first two possible COVID-19 cases in our state.
As of early March 2021, DHEC says South Carolina has conducted more than 6 million COVID-19 tests, increased contact tracing staff to more than 650 people, answered more than 292,000 calls to the vaccination call center and given 1,003,558 COVID-19 vaccine shots.
To date DHEC says they have fully vaccinated 304,724 South Carolinians against COVID-19.
To support these efforts 2,883 DHEC staff have worked 1,469,225 hours so far as part of the response.