SC surpasses 10,000 COVID deaths, state health department says
COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control said Wednesday the state reported 15 additional deaths blamed on COVID-19, pushing the state past the 10,000 mark.
In a statement released by the agency, DHEC Director Dr. Edward Simmer said while statistics are useful to measure data, “there is no statistic for grief or comfort in a milestone for those who have lost family members and loved ones.”
Simmer extended his deepest sympathy to families across the state who lost family members to the disease.
He insisted there is “only one way to prevent more lives from being lost, and that is through vaccination,” adding that the arrival of the Delta variant, which was first discovered in India, has “created a surge in new cases and deaths that we have to take seriously.”
“Until we reach a critical percentage of South Carolinians vaccinated that can stifle COVID-19′s spread, we are not out of danger,” Simmer said. “And the longer that takes, the more time the virus has to mutate into new, harder-to-control variants.”
As of Wednesday, DHEC reported a total of 10,007 COVID-19 related deaths. That total includes 8,823 deaths classified as “confirmed” and an additional 1,184 classified as “probable.” The agency’s daily report Wednesday, based on data collected on Monday, listed 14 confirmed and one probable death, which brought the state total past the 10,000 mark.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says a “probable” death is defined as a death that:
- Meets clinical criteria and epidemiologic linkage with no confirmatory laboratory testing performed for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
- Meets presumptive laboratory evidence
- Meets vital records criteria with no confirmatory laboratory evidence for SARS-CoV-2.
The latest deaths included one confirmed death in Charleston County, one confirmed death in Colleton County and one probable death in Georgetown County.
Read Simmer’s full statement here:
Fellow South Carolinians,
Today the State of South Carolina reported 15 new deaths due to COVID-19, pushing the total South Carolinian lives lost so far to this virus past the 10,000 mark.
While statistics are useful to measure data, there is no statistic for grief or comfort in a milestone for those who have lost family members and loved ones. To all those families across South Carolina, I want to say my deepest sympathy is with you. I know I also speak on behalf of the thousands of dedicated DHEC employees across our great state who are working non-stop to help prevent more lives from being lost.
There is only one way to prevent more lives from being lost, and that is through vaccination. Hundreds of millions of Americans have been fully vaccinated, including nearly two million South Carolinians. But our work is not done. That number only represents 45 percent of South Carolinians eligible for the vaccine, and it does not count all those aged 11-and-under who are not yet eligible for the vaccine but who depend on the rest of us to protect them.
Although one month ago it looked like the pandemic was improving, the arrival of the Delta variant has created a surge in new cases and deaths that we have to take seriously. Until we reach a critical percentage of South Carolinians vaccinated that can stifle COVID-19′s spread, we are not out of danger. And the longer that takes, the more time the virus has to mutate into new, harder-to-control variants.
Right now, the vaccines we have are all safe, reliable and available. They work and are our best chance at preventing more infections, hospitalizations, and deaths. Please, get fully vaccinated if you aren’t, and continue to follow CDC and DHEC guidelines about universal mask use indoors in public places.
South Carolinians have a well-deserved reputation for working together and taking care of each other. Now more than ever, we need to do so. If we do, we will defeat COVID-19, which has already taken so much from so many.
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