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SC officials report 297 new coronavirus cases as deaths reach 500

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Hymans seafood wait.jpg (copy) (copy)

Diners line up outside Hyman's Seafood over Memorial Day weekend as downtown restaurants began reopening. File/Grace Beahm Alford/Staff

South Carolina logged 297 new cases of the coronavirus on Monday and reported six new deaths.

Across the state, 12,148 people have now tested positive for the virus, while 500 people have died.

The six newly deceased patients were people above the age of 65 from Colleton, Fairfield, Horry and Lexington counties.

During the final week of May, cases increased at the fastest pace logged since COVID-19 first struck the state in March, according to S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control data.

Monday's daily total marks the fourth highest reported in the state after days of record-breaking totals. On Saturday, 420 cases were reported, the highest daily total yet.

A large spike has been recorded in Greenville County the past few days, and officials said they may understand why.

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Dr. Linda Bell, the state's top epidemiologist, said it's possible celebrations during the Memorial Day weekend contributed to the number. 

As of Sunday, nearly 211,000 COVID-19 tests have been completed statewide.

According to DHEC, 450 patients with the coronavirus or being tested for it, are hospitalized.

College of Charleston plans to resume classes in the fall, but will alter its schedule to lessen the chances of spreading COVID-19. The college said it will cancel its fall break, and bring the term's conclusion to the Thanksgiving holiday. In-person classes at the downtown college were canceled in mid-March. 

Mary Katherine Wildeman and Thomas Novelly contributed to this report.

Reach Fleming Smith at 843-937-5591. Follow her on Twitter at @MFlemingSmith.

Fleming Smith covers crime and public safety for the Charleston area. A native Georgian, she previously covered breaking news and features for The Wall Street Journal and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

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