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SC announces mass coronavirus vaccination sites for rural counties

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This 2020 electron microscope image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases — Rocky Mountain Laboratories shows SARS-CoV-2 virus particles which cause COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells cultured in a lab. Viruses are constantly mutating, with coronavirus variants circulating around the globe. File/AP

As officials try to tamp down on coronavirus' spread in South Carolina's most rural counties, leaders have organized eight mass vaccination sites in key areas.

The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control and U.S. Rep Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., have organized free events in Allendale, Bamberg and Hampton counties. Anyone age 18 or older is eligible, and no appointments are required.

“It is my hope that every American will get vaccinated as soon as they are able so that we may save lives and ultimately defeat this virus,” Clyburn said.

“Rural communities and communities of color have been disproportionately affected by the current public health crisis," he added, and that "many of these communities also lack access to reliable internet service, which is why we have chosen not to require appointments for these sites. These mobile sites allow us to reach our most vulnerable communities, which improves health outcomes and get those hit hardest by this virus back on track.”

Each clinic will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and second dose appointments will be automatically scheduled.

Hampton County

Tuesday, April 6th — Bull Durham Center, 380 Railroad Ave., Estill

Thursday, April 8th — Community Center, 10 Mixon St., Yemassee

Monday, April 12th — Hampton County Administration Building, 200 Jackson Ave., Hampton

Tuesday, April 13th — Varnville Town Hall, 101 Town Circle, Varnville

Allendale County

Thursday, April 15th — Allendale Community Center, 202 E. Flat St., Allendale

Friday, April 16th — Fairfax Mini-Mall, 128 Sumter Ave., Fairfax

Bamberg County

Monday, April 19th — Bamberg County Courthouse Annex, 1234 North St., Bamberg

Tuesday, April 20th — Denmark Technical College, 1126 Solomon Blatt Blvd., Denmark

Statewide numbers

New cases reported: 632 confirmed, 365 probable.

Total cases in S.C.: 467,016 confirmed, 88,258 probable.

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Percent positive: 3.5 percent.

New deaths reported: 13 confirmed, 4 probable.

Total deaths in S.C.: 8,105 confirmed, 1,091 probable.

Percent of ICU beds filled: 69 percent.

How does S.C. rank in vaccines administered per 100,000 people? 

42nd as of April 1, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Hardest-hit areas 

In the total number of newly confirmed cases, Greenville County (128), Richland County (52) and Charleston County (50) saw the highest totals. 

What about the tri-county?

Charleston County had 50 new cases on April 3, while Berkeley had 25, and Dorchester had 14.

Deaths

Four of the new confirmed deaths reported were people age 35 to 64, and nine were patients age 65 and older. 

Hospitalizations

Of the 486 COVID-19 patients hospitalized as of April 3, 117 were in the ICU and 52 were using ventilators.

What do experts say?

The CDC issued new travel recommendations for fully vaccinated people on April 2. The federal health authority said people who have had both doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine can safely travel internationally. 

The CDC still recommends travelers get tested for COVID-19 three to five days after the travel. The agency said "you do NOT need to self-quarantine after arriving in the United States." 

Reach Mary Katherine Wildeman at 843-607-4312. Follow her on Twitter @mkwildeman.

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