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Bridgestone paying employees to get vaccine; company's Aiken County plants host vaccination event

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Both of Bridgestone's Aiken County tire plants recently held a two-day COVID-19 vaccination event that had a financial benefit for employees who participated.

Bridgestone announced plans in March to provide a one-time $100 payment to all U.S. employees who chose to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Over 420 Aiken County employees received their vaccines on March 11-12, with the second doses to be administered Thursday and Friday.

“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, teammates from our Aiken County plants have remained dedicated to supporting our essential business activities," Stephen Parr, plant manager for Aiken County's off-road tire plant, said in a statement. "We were pleased to be able to coordinate with local and state health providers to offer employees with a convenient option for receiving the vaccine."

In a release, Bridgestone said it's providing the $100 support payment to remove barriers for employees who choose to get the vaccine, such as missing work, child care, transportation costs or other potential obstacles.

As of April 7, South Carolina has received 2,953,180 total doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and has administered 2,279,764.

A total of 41,492 Aiken County residents have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

To find a COVID-19 vaccine provider, visit or call DHEC's COVID-19 Vaccine Information Line at 866-365-8110.

The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control confirmed eight COVID-19 cases in Aiken County on Wednesday, along with a total of 324 cases and six deaths across the state. None of the deaths were in Aiken County.

The data reported Wednesday is for the date of April 5.

Wednesday's report brings the total confirmed number of COVID-19 cases in Aiken County to 12,542, with 174 confirmed coronavirus-related deaths.

Aiken County also has reported a total of 4,074 probable COVID-19 cases and 42 probable coronavirus-related deaths.

Neighboring Barnwell County confirmed one virus case Wednesday and Edgefield County confirmed three cases.

Across the entire state, there are 533 COVID-19 patients hospitalized. There are currently seven COVID-19 beds occupied in Aiken County, as well as one COVID-19 ICU bed.

The total number of individual test results reported to DHEC statewide Wednesday was 6,250, and the percent positive was 7.9%.

The total number of cases statewide is now 468,939, with 89,962 probable cases, 8,118 confirmed deaths and 1,095 probable deaths.

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