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Line for COVID testing wraps around parking lots at coliseum, church

Published: Dec. 27, 2021 at 10:55 AM EST|Updated: Dec. 27, 2021 at 7:40 PM EST
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NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC/AP) - Lines of cars wrapped around parking lots as people waited to be tested for COVID-19 Monday morning, the first workday after the Christmas weekend.

People lined up in their vehicles outside the North Charleston Coliseum as well as Seacoast Church’s Mount Pleasant location.

Monday’s lines followed a holiday weekend of travel problems. FlightAware, which tracks flight cancellations, said airlines canceled roughly 4,000 flights to, from or inside the U.S. since Friday.

Delta, United, JetBlue and American have all said the omicron variant was causing staffing problems. Other factors like bad weather also played a role.

Concerns about the omicron variant have placed global gloom over New Year’s celebrations as several governments consider more restrictions to prevent the variant’s spread.

Offices at the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control will remain closed through Tuesday for Christmas.

DHEC call centers are closed, meaning those who have been tested will not be able to call in and get testing results or ask COVID-related questions until Wednesday.

DHEC will also not be releasing new COVID numbers until Wednesday.

The agency reports COVID data on a 48-hour delay.

When it resumes reporting new COVID case and death data on Wednesday, it will release six days’ worth of data, covering last Wednesday through Monday.

The last day DHEC released data was Thursday, which reported numbers from Dec. 21. For that date, the agency reported a total of 2,220 new cases, 1,466 of which were confirmed and 754 of which were listed as probable.

That was the highest single-day total of new cases since Oct. 1, when that day’s total was 2,239.

Thursday’s report also listed 23 deaths, including 14 confirmed and nine probable deaths.

Since the pandemic began, the state has reported a total of 944,574 cases of COVID-19 and a statewide death toll of 14,550.

Copyright 2021 WCSC. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.