S.C. reports 897 new cases of COVID-19; DHEC publishes vaccine plan

VIDEO: S.C. reports 897 new cases of COVID-19; DHEC publishes vaccine plan

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control reported 897 newly-confirmed cases of COVID-19 Friday.

DHEC said there were also 76 new probable cases, 5 confirmed deaths and 3 new probable deaths. This brings the total number of confirmed cases to 155,799, probable cases to 6,454, confirmed deaths to 3,405, and 210 probable deaths.

Also on Friday, DHEC officials submitted to the U.S. Department of Health and Humans Services the state’s COVID-19 Vaccine Plan which can be viewed here.

State health officials said during the initial stages of the national COVID-19 Vaccination Program, there will be a limited supply of the vaccine.

According to DHEC, that limited supply will be made available to certain identified groups, including front-line medical workers and nursing home residents. COVID-19 vaccine supply is expected to increase substantially and be more widely available to the public in 2021, according to a report.

State health officials said the overarching goal of this plan is the equitable distribution of the vaccine across the state, based on the most current federal guidance and recommendations.

“Safety is the top priority in any vaccine development and no vaccine will be released until it has undergone the rigorous scientific and clinical testing that’s required as part of all vaccine development,” said Dr. Linda Bell, South Carolina State Epidemiologist.

According to Bell, scientists had already begun research for coronavirus vaccines during previous outbreaks caused by related coronaviruses. She said that earlier research provided a head start for rapid development of vaccines to protect against infection with the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

The vaccine plan can be seen below.

Total tests conducted in South Carolina 1,720,120
Total tests reported to DHEC on Thursday 7,805
Percent Positive in latest test results 11.5%

The following is a breakdown provided by DHEC of total positive cases and total deaths in Lowcountry counties:

Beaufort County 5,871 86
Berkeley County 5,632 88
Charleston County 16,129 250
Colleton County 1,141 43
Dorchester County 4,322 88
Georgetown County 1,836 35
Orangeburg County 3,209 128
Williamsburg County 1,231 37

Here are the newly-confirmed and probable cases reported by county:

Here is a breakdown of the confirmed and probable deaths reported by age group and county:

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