DHEC urging masking amid uptick in COVID cases

Attorney General Alan Wilson is joining 20 other states in a multistate action against...
Attorney General Alan Wilson is joining 20 other states in a multistate action against President Biden’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continued use of the unlawful mask mandate on public transportation.(Pexels)
Published: Jan. 9, 2023 at 8:43 AM EST
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) -Monday the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control urged residents to consider masking up. DHEC asked the community to follow masking recommendations for COVID amid a spike in cases.

The request comes as the department says all but two of the state’s 46 counties are experiencing high and medium levels of the virus. Only Aiken and Barnwell Counties are not experiencing the spike. DHEC said the state is seeing increasing case numbers since the week of Oct. 29, 2022, which reported 3,459 cases. The most recent week of Dec. 31 saw 10,481 cases of COVID.

Dr. Brannon Traxler, the DHEC Public Health Director said, “We are seeing significant increases in COVID-19 cases across our state, and we know there are a lot more cases that aren’t being reported due to the use of nonreportable home tests.”

Traxler said, “Fortunately, we have not seen a significant uptick in severe cases, meaning those that end in hospitalizations and deaths.”

The CDC’s Community Levels Map updates every Thursday. DHEC said it shows 21 red counties with high transmission and 23 yellow counties with medium transmission in SC.

DHEC said the recommendations based on county levels are:

  • Low levels: masking is “not needed in most settings,” but remains optional for individuals.
  • Medium levels: individuals who are at higher risk of contracting COVID-19 as well as those who are regularly around immunocompromised individuals are encouraged to mask up, while it is optional for others.
  • High levels: masking is recommended for everyone in indoor settings, including schools and workplaces.

High transmission counties include; Cherokee, Chester, Chesterfield, Colleton, Dorchester, Fairfield, Georgetown, Greenville, Horry, Kershaw, Laurens, Lee, Lexington, Marlboro, Newberry, Pickens, Richland, Spartanburg, Sumter, Union, and Williamsburg.

Medium transmission counties include; Abbeville, Allendale, Anderson, Bamberg, Beaufort, Berkeley, Calhoun, Charleston, Clarendon, Darlington, Dillon, Edgefield, Florence, Greenwood, Hampton, Jasper, Lancaster, Marion, McCormick, Oconee, Orangeburg, Saluda, and York.

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