S.C. Public Health Officials: “We’re at a pivotal point in this pandemic”

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On Friday, South Carolina reported the highest number of daily COVID-19 cases since the first case was reported March 6, with more than 2,500 new cases. DHEC states that the state’s hospital systems are becoming increasingly burdened in caring for those who are severely suffering from the deadly virus. Nationally, case counts, percent positivity, hospitalizations, patients on ventilators, and deaths are all approaching or surpassing previous highs from the spring and summer.

According to DHEC officials, “It’s clear that our state and nation are at a pivotal point in this pandemic.”

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC), South Carolina Hospital Association (SCHA) and Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) are reminding state residents of the seriousness of the circumstances and actions that can help change the course.

The most effective means for stopping this virus remain:

• Wearing a face mask
• Social distancing
• Limiting contact with those outside your household
• Routine testing
• Adhering to quarantine or isolation guidelines, as directed

A DHEC news release states:

“We have increasing evidence that household spread is contributing to new cases. This is why it’s so important for anyone identified as having had close contact with COVID-19 to follow quarantine guidelines, even if you don’t feel ill. Asymptomatic individuals are spreading the virus.

The anticipated arrival of safe and effective vaccines brings hope and puts us one step closer toward ending this pandemic, but the general public won’t have access to vaccines for many more months. We must remain committed to the daily prevention methods that work.”

A recent study found that face mask-wearing by just 75 percent of the U.S. population alone would flatten the projected incidence curve and reduce infections by 37 percent. We can change our course. Coming together, South Carolinians can substantially slow the spread of the virus everywhere, from our most rural communities to our busiest cities.

We thank our health care workers and first responders, nursing home employees, teachers, essential workers, local governments and community leaders for all you do each day to protect us, and we remember the 4,496 South Carolinians and all of those worldwide who have lost their lives to this disease. We won’t let these losses and personal sacrifices go unnoticed.

We are currently in an all-hands-on-deck situation. We know South Carolinians can and will come together, now more than ever, to change our course. We are #SCStrong.”