COLUMBIA, S.C. – On New Year’s Day, South Carolina officially surpassed the one million mark for total COVID-19 cases, a milestone reached as the state is in the middle of an unprecedented wave of new cases spurred by the omicron variant.
On Tuesday, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC)reported a total of 50,653 cases for the previous week – the highest weekly total of the entire pandemic.
“In less than two years, COVID-19 has infected over 1,000,000 of our citizens and impacted the lives of all of us,” said Dr. Edward Simmer, DHEC director. “This milestone is another reminder that COVID-19 has caused one of the most severe pandemics our nation and state has ever seen, and with the Omicron variant, we unfortunately are seeing record numbers of cases.
“COVID-19 is here to stay, but working together we can control it and limit its impact on our lives. By getting maximally vaccinated (the initial series of shots and getting the booster when eligible), wearing masks and social distancing when appropriate, and seeking testing/treatment when needed we can reduce the spread and prevent most hospitalizations and deaths.”
DHEC Public Health Director Dr. Brannon Traxler echoed Simmer’s remarks.
“Reaching this sad milestone on the same day that we enter the third calendar year of the pandemic is a stark reminder that COVID-19 is not behind us and should energize us further to take the actions needed to stop the spread of this virus,” Traxler said.