Category : State Government

(NPR) It’s Not Just Texas. The Entire Energy Grid Needs An Upgrade For Extreme Weather

The Texas blackout is another reminder that more frequent, climate-driven extreme weather puts stress on the country’s electricity grid. It came just months after outages in California aimed at preventing wildfires.

Compounding this, electricity likely will be even more important in coming years amid a push to electrify cars and homes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. That has many grid experts saying it’s time to upgrade the country’s electricity infrastructure.

That includes wires, power plants, big transmission towers and local utilities – everything that gets electricity to you. And much of that infrastructure was designed for a different era.

“We planned this grid for Ozzie and Harriet weather and we are now facing Mad Max,” says energy consultant Alison Silverstein.

The pop culture references are her way of saying that the grid was designed for technology and weather that existed in the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s. Now, she says, it needs to be updated for a future that includes climate change.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, Climate Change, Weather, Economy, Energy, Natural Resources, Ethics / Moral Theology, Politics in General, State Government, The U.S. Government

(NYT) After a Sluggish Start, the Vaccine Rollout Is Improving in Every State

On Jan. 1, just a quarter of vaccine doses delivered across the country had been used, compared to 68 percent of doses on Feb. 11. A handful of states have administered more than 80 percent of the doses they have received. And even states with slower vaccine uptake are making strides. Alabama, for example, where the share of doses used has consistently ranked among the country’s lowest, is in the process of opening new mass vaccination sites in eight cities.

“Every state is improving,” said Claire Hannan, the executive director of the Association of Immunization Managers. “We still don’t have enough to vaccinate everyone over 75, so it doesn’t necessarily feel different for people who are trying to find the vaccine, but we are in a much better place now.”

Health officials acknowledge that it’s confusing to suggest that overall supply is limited, when federal data shows that many shots still seem to be sitting unused. But jurisdictions have said that they are working around the clock to close the gap between doses delivered and administered.

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Posted in America/U.S.A., Drugs/Drug Addiction, Health & Medicine, State Government

(Local Paper) Police, doctors warn South Carolina lawmakers against passing ‘open carry with training’ gun bill

Charleston’s police chief warned South Carolina lawmakers a proposal to let trained gun owners carry their weapons openly could endanger public safety and make the jobs of law enforcement officers more difficult.

Chief Luther Reynolds was one of dozens of South Carolinians who testified Feb. 10 in opposition to the bill, joining several doctors and self-identified gun owners who said they fear the bill could lead to more violence and anxiety on the streets.

The opponents outnumbered the six supporters who testified in favor of the measure by saying they believe the training aspect will ensure guns are handled responsibly and noting that South Carolina is one of only five states that does not have any form of open carry law on the books.

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Posted in * South Carolina, Ethics / Moral Theology, Police/Fire, Politics in General, State Government, Violence

(Local Paper) Hospitals pick up Covid19 vaccination efforts in SC, but available doses can’t meet demand

Nearly all of South Carolina’s 750 long-term care facilities will be visited by pharmacists by month’s end to offer COVID-19 vaccine shots to residents most vulnerable to dying of the disease, health officials said Wednesday.

Meanwhile, hospitals are stepping up their efforts to vaccinate everyone else eligible in the first phase — which newly includes several thousand parents of medically fragile children — even as appointments for doses continue to exceed statewide supply.

Gov. Henry McMaster has warned repeatedly this week that if hospitals don’t get doses in arms faster, he’ll suspend their money-making elective surgeries so they can focus their efforts on vaccine distribution. As of Tuesday, major hospitals had more than 50,000 doses left on hand to administer.

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Posted in * South Carolina, Health & Medicine, State Government

(Local Paper front page) To ramp up COVID-19 vaccinations, South Carolina expands who can give the shots

South Carolina is expanding who’s allowed to give COVID-19 vaccines in an effort to get shots into arms faster amid escalating frustrations with the state’s slow rollout.

A pair of major hospitals say they could vaccinate up to 10,000 people a day — three times more than their current capacity — with added help to administer shots as shipments ramp up.

Meanwhile, the state’s public health agency is giving up on contact tracing of those infected after becoming overwhelmed with a sharp rise in COVID cases.

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Posted in * South Carolina, Health & Medicine, State Government

(NYT front page) A Snaking Line to No Vaccine: Florida’s Big Rollout Sputters

Linda Kleindienst Bruns registered for a coronavirus vaccine in late December, on the first day the health department in Tallahassee, Fla., opened for applications for people her age. Despite being 72, with her immune system suppressed by medication that keeps her breast cancer in remission, she spent days waiting to hear back about an appointment.

“It’s so disorganized,” she said. “I was hoping the system would be set up so there would be some sort of logic to it.”

Phyllis Humphreys, 76, waited with her husband last week in a line of cars in Clermont, west of Orlando, that spilled onto Highway 27. They had scrambled into their car and driven 22 miles after receiving an automated text message saying vaccine doses were available. But by 9:43 a.m., the site had reached capacity and the Humphreys went home with no shots.

“We’re talking about vaccinations,” said Ms. Humphreys, a retired critical care nurse. “We are not talking about putting people in Desert Storm.”

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Posted in Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Psychology, State Government

(Local Paper) South Carolina confirms nearly 3,600 more coronavirus cases as experts warn against Christmas travel

Nearly 3,600 South Carolinians tested positive for COVID-19, authorities announced Wednesday, worrying the experts who’ve warned against holiday travel and gatherings.

The state has only surpassed 3,000 cases per day a couple times, but authorities have warned that another surge in cases could come two weeks after the holidays.

The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control has urged Palmetto State residents to stay home for Christmas, modify holiday traditions using Zoom or sticking to single-household celebrations. Those who choose to attend gatherings should get tested and avoid traveling with others if possible.

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Posted in * South Carolina, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, State Government, Theology

(Local Paper) Governor McMaster, South Carolina health officials sound alarm on spiking COVID19 cases, but no restrictive orders

With cases of COVID-19 climbing to record highs, South Carolina’s health care leaders and Gov. Henry McMaster pleaded with residents to continually wear masks and socially distance this holiday season to stem the deaths of loved ones, noting help is on the way but still months off.

While South Carolina is expected to receive enough doses in the coming days to vaccinate at least 200,000 people, that won’t be enough for even everyone eligible in the highest-priority group, which includes front-line medical workers and nursing home residents, McMaster said.

“It appears many people have let their guard down. I know we have fatigue, but now is not the time for us to let up. Now is the time to redouble our efforts,” he said, cautioning that widespread vaccination “will be a slow process all over the country.”

But he reiterated he will not shut the state down again, as he did for roughly six weeks in the spring with one of the nation’s shortest stay-at-home orders.

Other states where Democratic governors ordered longer shutdowns and recently clamped down again have ruined their economy and killed hundreds of thousands of businesses, the Republican governor said, adding those actions did not ultimately stem the spread there.

“There’s a better way, and we all know what that is,” he said, indicating the mask in his hand.

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Posted in * South Carolina, Health & Medicine, State Government

(The State) First batch of COVID-19 vaccines could reach South Carolina before Christmas, officials say

South Carolina could be less than two weeks away from receiving its initial shipment of COVID-19 vaccines, officials say.

Stephen White, the state Department of Health and Environmental Control’s immunization program manager, said if both Pfizer and Moderna receive approval for their respective COVID-19 vaccines when anticipated, South Carolina could be in line to receive limited quantities of both vaccines before Christmas.

“Things can change, decisions could linger, things could be expedited,” he said on a media call Thursday. “But that is the time frame we’re thinking the vaccine could be available, if the (emergency use authorization) is approved and (the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices) provides their guidance.”

White said the agency anticipates receiving the Pfizer vaccine first, perhaps by Dec. 14, with the Moderna vaccine arriving the following week.

Both vaccines, which have been submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for approval, are considered safe and have both been more than 90% effective in initial trials, according to preliminary data.

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Posted in * South Carolina, Health & Medicine, State Government

(Wash Post) Voices from the Pendemic: Amber Elliott–‘This is how we treat each other? This is who we are?’

We weren’t set up well to deal with this virus in Missouri. We have the worst funding in the country for public health, and a lot of the things we’ve needed to fight the spread of covid are things we should have had in place 10 years ago. We don’t have an emergency manager. We don’t have anyone to handle HR, public information, or IT, so that’s all been me. We didn’t get extra funding for covid until last month. I’m young and I’m motivated, and I took this job in January because public health is my absolute love. It doesn’t pay well, but would I rather be treating people who already have a disease or helping to prevent it? That’s what we do. We help take care of people. At one point this summer, I worked 90 days straight trying to hold this virus at bay, and my whole staff was basically like that.

We hired 10 contact tracers to track the spread, starting in August, but the real problem we keep running into is community cooperation. We call everyone that’s had a positive test and say: “Hey, this is your local health department. We’re trying to interrupt disease transmission, and we’d love your help.” It’s nothing new. We do the same thing for measles, mumps, and tick-borne diseases, and I’d say 99 percent of the time before covid, people were receptive. They wanted to stop an outbreak, but now it’s all politicized. Every time you get on the phone, you’re hoping you don’t get cussed at. Probably half of the people we call are skeptical or combative. They refuse to talk. They deny their own positive test results. They hang up. They say they’re going to hire a lawyer. They give you fake people they’ve spent time with and fake numbers. They lie and tell you they’re quarantining alone at home, but then in the background you can hear the beeping of a scanner at Walmart.

I’ve stayed up a lot of nights trying to understand where this whole disconnect comes from. I love living in this county. I know in my heart these are good people, but it’s like we’re living on different planets. I have people in my own family who believe covid is a conspiracy and our doctors are getting paid off. I’ve done press conferences and dozens of Facebook Live videos to talk about the real science. Even with all the other failures happening, that’s the one thing we should be celebrating: better treatments, nurses and doctors on the front lines, promising news about vaccines. But the more I talk about the facts, the more it seems to put a target on my back.

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Posted in Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Politics in General, Science & Technology, State Government

(The State) South Carolina adds more than 750 new COVID-19 cases, 19 more deaths

South Carolina health officials reported another 755 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, as the state’s rate of cases continues to rise over the past month.

Tuesday’s case count marks the fifth time in the last six days officials from the Department of Health and Environmental Control have reported more than 750 new cases of the novel coronavirus, and the state’s seven-day rolling average of new cases is now just under 1,000, a mark it hasn’t passed since early September.

State health officials also recorded 19 more confirmed deaths related to the virus Tuesday. Since the first cases were identified in South Carolina in March, officials have reported 164,802 cases and 3,602 deaths.

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Posted in * South Carolina, Health & Medicine, State Government

(The State) South Carolina lacks a health department chief as the coronavirus pandemic rages. When will that change?

The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control is seeking a new leader to fight the coronavirus pandemic as the unprecedented health crisis marches through the state — and some officials say it’s critical that DHEC choose the right person.

It may be late December before the agency makes a decision on a new executive director to replace Rick Toomey, who resigned in late spring during the height of the pandemic. Toomey, who had high blood pressure and a heart condition, served less than 18 months.

So far, the board has received 45 applications for the director’s job, which pays a minimum of $178,126 annually. Acting director Marshall Taylor, the department’s chief legal counsel, has not applied for the position, a spokeswoman said.

The agency’s board is scheduled to meet Monday to discuss the vacancy.

“The board is committed to ensuring the most appropriate, qualified, and experienced individuals are reviewed for this important position,’’ agency spokeswoman Cristi Moore said in an email.

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Posted in * South Carolina, Health & Medicine, State Government

(SA) How Straight Talk Helped One State, Maine, to Control COVID19

The state of Maine has the nation’s oldest population, with an average age of 45.1 versus 38.5 for the U.S. overall. It is also among the country’s poorest. Fewer than one third of residents hold a bachelor’s degree or higher. Yet despite these risk factors, Maine has a remarkably low prevalence of COVID-19: at last count, there have been 5,780 cases (about 430 per 100,000 people), 463 hospitalizations and 143 deaths. The state’s COVID-19 test positivity rate—averaging roughly 0.5 percent—is the lowest in the nation. In comparison, equally rural and far flung North Dakota, with roughly 60 percent of the population of Maine and an average age of 35.5, has suffered 28,244 cases (about 3,700 per 100,000 people), 357 deaths and a test positivity rate of roughly 8.1 percent.

The face of Maine’s successful policy is Nirav Shah, director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Shah’s rock star status is reflected in his impressive Twitter following, a Facebook fan club and even an electronic road sign on the state’s Route 196 that blinks “In Shah We Trust.” The fact that a self-described “brown guy with a funny name from another state who has been here for 400 days could be viewed as a voice for science,” Shah has tweeted, “speaks more about the character of Maine people than anything else could.” Clearly, that “voice for science” has had a powerful influence. Cell-phone-tracking data indicate that Maine residents have sharply curtailed travel since March. And surveys suggest a general adherence to public health advice on mask wearing and social distancing, even in outdoor spaces such as hiking trails.

Trained in law and economics as well as medicine, Shah takes a broad view of public health that relies on equal parts science, persuasion and empathy. His twice-weekly public radio briefings follow three principles: never shy away from the truth, answer questions directly, and acknowledge the statistics and numbers without overlooking the human element. Our national approach, he says, does not adhere to those principles.

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Posted in Health & Medicine, State Government

(Local Paper) South Carolina logs over 1,000 new coronavirus cases as percent positive hovers above 10%

For the first time in over a month, South Carolina logged more than 1,000 new coronavirus cases on Thursday.

The 1,072 new cases are the highest number of positive tests the state Department of Health and Environmental Control has announced in a single day since Sept. 4, according to records maintained by The Post and Courier. DHEC’s amended data, which includes cases that were reported late, shows the department tallied 1,000 cases Oct. 8.

It’s a marked change from midsummer, when DHEC’s amended data shows the state regularly counted over 2,000 cases per day. Experts warn that cases could swell in the fall as cool weather drives people indoors, but expect masks and social distancing to mitigate the spread.

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Posted in * South Carolina, Health & Medicine, State Government

(NYT) The Coronavirus Surges in North Dakota, Filling Hospitals and Testing Attitudes

When Tammy Gimbel called to check on her 86-year-old father two weeks ago, he sounded weak. He was rushed to Sanford Medical Center in North Dakota’s capital, where doctors said he had the coronavirus. But all the hospital beds in Bismarck were full, his relatives were told, and the only options were to send him to a hospital hours away in Fargo, or to release him to be monitored by his daughter, who was herself sick with the virus.

Ms. Gimbel and her father hunkered down in a 40-foot camping trailer in her backyard to try to recover. He only got worse.

“There I sat in my camper, watching my dad shake profusely, have a 102 temperature with an oxygen level of 86,” Ms. Gimbel recalled. “I am sicker than I had been the whole time, and I wanted to cry. What was I going to do? Was I going to watch my dad die?”

As President Trump returned from the hospital, still telling Americans not to be afraid of Covid-19, the coronavirus has exploded in North Dakota. In the past week, North Dakota reported more new cases per capita than any other state. Hospitalizations for the virus have risen abruptly, forcing health care officials in some towns to send people to faraway hospitals, even across state lines to Montana and South Dakota.

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Posted in America/U.S.A., Health & Medicine, State Government

(Local Paper) Governor McMaster plans to relax restrictions on South Carolina restaurants, lifting 50% occupancy limit

South Carolina restaurants will no longer be legally obliged to conform to social distancing restrictions designed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Gov. Henry McMaster announced Thursday.

Among the dining protocols that will be made optional by McMaster’s modification of his July 29 executive order are capacity limits and table spacing.

A provision prohibiting guests from congregating at bars will remain in place, along with a rule requiring employees to wear face coverings.

An 11 p.m. restaurant alcohol sales cutoff, covered by a separate executive order, also still stands.

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Posted in * South Carolina, Economy, Health & Medicine, State Government

(The State) DHEC reports South Carolina’s lowest coronavirus case count in three weeks at 527

South Carolina recorded its fewest new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in three weeks Tuesday, as health officials reported 527 cases and an additional 22 deaths related to the coronavirus.

That figure is just below the 528 cases reported Sept. 20 and is the lowest since the 380 cases reported on Sept. 8. Since the global pandemic first reached South Carolina in March, the Department of Health and Environmental Control has recorded 143,495 confirmed cases and 3,173 deaths.

Amid a surge in free testing opportunities in the Columbia area coordinated by a federal response team, DHEC reported 4,007 individual test results Tuesday, putting the percentage of tests returning positive at 13.2%. The rolling seven-day average of positive tests is 11.7%.

The average rate of positive tests continues to decline from the state’s high points in July, when it consistently topped 20%, but it is still above the 5% mark health experts, including DHEC state epidemiologist Linda Bell, have cited as a goal.

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Posted in * South Carolina, Health & Medicine, State Government

(The State) COVID-19 absentee expansion bill clears SC House, heads to Gov. McMaster

A bill that would expand absentee voting to all registered South Carolina voters in the Nov. 3 general election as a pandemic-related safety measure is headed to the governor’s desk after clearing the House Tuesday.

The bill, which passed 115-1, allows “no-excuse” absentee voting, but retains the requirement that absentee voters get a witness to watch them sign their absentee ballot envelope — a requirement that a federal judge suspended for the June primary, citing the risk of COVID-19 transmission — and scraps plans to add more ballot drop boxes.

Gov. Henry McMaster has yet to weigh in on the absentee expansion bill, which passed unanimously in the Senate last week, but signed a similar bill the Legislature approved ahead of the June primary.

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Posted in * South Carolina, Health & Medicine, Politics in General, State Government

(Local Paper) Coronavirus cases no longer trending down in 28 South Carolina counties, DHEC says

After seeing a peak in new coronavirus cases in July and five weeks of dropping numbers, 28 of South Carolina’s 46 counties are no longer seeing a downward disease trend, according to a presentation given to state public health officials on Thursday.

Dr. Brannon Traxler, a physician consultant for the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control, told the agency’s governing board the entire state can no longer be classified as being on a downward trend.

“We’ve recently started to see a little increase,” she said. “It’s too early to say whether it will be significant. We want to encourage everyone to do what they were doing. We were seeing that steady decline.”

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Posted in * South Carolina, Health & Medicine, State Government

(LA Times) Californians are losing their fear of the coronavirus, setting the stage for disaster

“Public health, when it does its work best, it’s not telling people what to do. It’s telling people how to keep themselves and their loved ones safe so people can make their decisions about how to do that,” Bibbins-Domingo said.

Lockdown fatigue is not a new phenomenon. During the 1918 flu pandemic, San Franciscans threw their masks into the air when they thought the pandemic was over, not realizing a new deadly wave of flu would hit within weeks, said Chin-Hong at UC San Francisco.

“People are afraid that history is going to repeat itself,” he said.

California’s exuberant optimism that the worst of the pandemic was behind us was fueled by the state’s early success. While many people in California might not know someone who died, Chin-Hong said, in New York, it seemingly felt like everyone knew someone who died.

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Posted in Anthropology, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Psychology, State Government, Theology

(WSJ) U.S. Daily Coronavirus-Case Count Crosses 50,000, a new daily record

New coronavirus cases in the U.S. rose above 50,000, a single-day record, as some states and businesses reversed course on reopenings and hospitals were hit by a surge of patients.
The U.S. accounts for about a quarter of more than 10.6 million coronavirus cases world-wide, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. The nation’s death toll climbed above 128,000.

Cases and hospitalizations are rising sharply in a number of areas.

In Texas, 6,533 Covid-19 patients were in hospitals, according to the state’s Department of Health. For most of April and May that number hovered between 1,100 and 1,800. It broke the 2,000 mark on June 8.

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Posted in America/U.S.A., Anthropology, City Government, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Politics in General, State Government

(Local Paper) COVID-19 cases are rising sharply across SC. These charts show why.

Traci Testerman, an immunology and microbiology professor with the University of South Carolina School of Medicine, is concerned about the way things are going in South Carolina.

“The state is absolutely headed in the wrong direction, and we do need more rules and support from the governor,” she said.

If everyone had access to N95 masks, then it wouldn’t be a big problem for a few people to walk around without a mask, Testerman said. But since that is not the case, one of the solutions is to reduce the amount of virus circulating in the air and contaminating uninfected people.

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Posted in * South Carolina, Health & Medicine, State Government

(The State) South Carolina students may not return to schools if COVID-19 spread doesn’t slow, official says

If coronavirus cases continue to rise as they have been for the last few weeks, K-12 students will not likely return to in-person education in the fall, a top official said Monday.

“If it continues on the same path we’re on right now it’s going to be extremely difficult for us to be able to go back face-to-face,” S.C. Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman said at a Monday press conference. “Hopefully we’ll see a change and things will start decreasing.”

There is no question being able to teach in-person is better — especially for young students — than being purely online, Spearman said. However, she said she will not risk student and teacher safety to meet that goal.

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Posted in * South Carolina, Children, Education, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Politics in General, State Government

(NPR) As States Reopen, Do They Have The Workforce They Need To Stop Coronavirus Outbreaks?

An NPR survey of state health departments shows that the national coronavirus contact tracing workforce has tripled in the past six weeks, from 11,142 workers to 37,110. Yet given their current case counts, only seven states and the District of Columbia are staffed to the level that public health researchers say is needed to contain outbreaks.

Contact tracers are public health workers who reach out to each new positive coronavirus case, track down their contacts, and connect both the sick person and those who were exposed with the services they need to be able to safely isolate themselves. This is an essential part of stamping out emerging outbreaks.

To understand how that picture had changed since NPR’s initial contact tracing survey in late April, NPR reached out again to all state health departments, as well as Washington, D.C., and the U.S. territories. In total, NPR reporters were able to assemble data from all 50 states along with D.C., Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands.

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Posted in Health & Medicine, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, State Government

(Local Paper) SC health official sounds alarm as state records nearly 1,000 coronavirus cases

South Carolina health officials continued to urge the public to follow social distancing rules Thursday as the state recorded nearly 1,000 coronavirus cases.

State Epidemiologist Dr. Linda Bell said that everyone has a role to play in stopping COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus.

“This virus does not spread on its own,” Bell said. “It’s spread around our state by infected people who carry it wherever they go — their work, the supermarket, the post office, a friend’s house. By not following public health precautions, many are putting all at risk.”

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Posted in * South Carolina, Health & Medicine, State Government

South Carolina announces 582 new cases of the novel coronavirus COVID19 and 2 additional deaths

South Carolina continued a record breaking streak of coronavirus cases Monday after state health officials announced that 582 more people have tested positive for the virus.

Department of Health and Environmental Control officials also announced that two additional people — who were from Charleston and Lexington counties — died after contracting the coronavirus.

Greenville County saw the largest increase in cases with 91.

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Posted in * South Carolina, Health & Medicine, State Government

South Carolina announces 770 new cases of the novel coronavirus COVID19+6 additional deaths

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) today announced 770 new cases of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 and 6 additional deaths.

This brings the total number of people confirmed to have COVID-19 in South Carolina to 17,955 and those who have died to 599.

Four deaths occurred in elderly individuals from Cherokee (1), Darlington (1), Greenville (1), and Richland (1) counties, and two deaths occurred in middle-aged individuals from Greenville (1) and Horry (1) counties.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, Anthropology, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, State Government

GRR:Discouraging short term trend continues–South Carolina today announced 770 new cases of the novel coronavirus COVID19+5 additional deaths

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) today announced 770 new cases of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 and 5 additional deaths.

This brings the total number of people confirmed to have COVID-19 in South Carolina to 17,170 and those who have died to 593.

All five deaths occurred in elderly individuals from Aiken (1), Charleston (1), Lexington (1), Orangeburg (1), and Richland (1) counties

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Posted in * South Carolina, Anthropology, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Health & Medicine, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, State Government

(DHEC) South Carolina announces 528 new cases of COVID19 and 7 additional deaths

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) today announced 528 new cases of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 and 7 additional deaths.

This brings the total number of people confirmed to have COVID-19 in South Carolina to 15,759 and those who have died to 575.

Five of the deaths occurred in elderly individuals from Chesterfield (1), Florence (1), Greenville (2), and Spartanburg (1) counties, and 2 middle-aged individuals from Greenville (1) and Newberry (1) counties.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, State Government

(The State) As South Carolina surpasses 15,000 COVID19 cases, infection rates, hospitalizations hit new highs

Following a record breaking day, Department of Health and Environmental Control officials announced Tuesday that South Carolina has surpassed 15,000 coronavirus cases.

On Tuesday, 434 more people tested positive for the virus, and 11 additional people have died after contracting it, DHEC officials said. The 434 represented 14.7% of the total daily number of tests results reported Tuesday — the highest daily rate of infection the state has seen in at least the last 28 days.

Another statistic also is rapidly rising: the number of hospital beds across the state occupied by patients with confirmed COVID-19 cases or who are under investigation for the disease. On Saturday, for example, the state had 482 COVID patients being treated in hospital. In just two days, that number has rocketed up to 541.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, State Government