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SC reports 261 new COVID-19 cases as statewide total nears 490,000

Effective immediately, Goose Creek repeals mask mandate

While wearing a face covering is no longer law in Goose Creek, elected officials encourage all residents to remain vigilant, and COVID-19 vaccinations are strongly recommended. File

South Carolina reported 261 new cases of COVID-19 and 17 new deaths on May 16. 

Due, in part, to increased vaccinations efforts, the number of newly reported cases dipped below the more recent average of around 300 new cases a day.

Additionally, South Carolina residents 12 years of age and older are now eligible to get vaccinated. 

The latest report from the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control shows 3.5 percent of COVID-19 tests came back positive.

Statewide numbers

New cases reported: 261 confirmed, 218 probable.

Total cases in S.C.: 488,797 confirmed, 99,796 probable.

Percent positive: 3.5 percent.

New deaths reported: 17 confirmed, 2 probable.

Total deaths in S.C.: 8,498 confirmed, 1,155 probable. 

Percent of ICU beds filled: 69.4 percent.

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How S.C. ranks

South Carolina ranks 42nd in the nation regarding the number of vaccines administered per 100,000 people as of March 13, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Hardest-hit areas

In the total number of newly confirmed cases, Greenville County (31), Richland County (21) and York County (21) saw the highest totals. 

What about tri-county?

Charleston County had 19 new cases on May 16, while Berkeley County had 11 and Dorchester County had 7.

Deaths

Of the deaths from COVID-19 confirmed May 16, four were people age 35 to 64. Thirteen were patients 65 or older.

Hospitalizations

Of the 322 COVID-19 patients hospitalized as of May 16, 93 were in the ICU and 43 were using ventilators.

What do experts say?

Earlier this week the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released updated mask guidelines that allow those who are fully vaccinated to stop wearing masks in most situations. 

Reach Thomas Novelly at 843-937-5713. Follow him @TomNovelly on Twitter. 

Thomas Novelly is a political reporter based in Charleston. He also covers the military community and veterans throughout South Carolina. Previously, he wrote for the Courier Journal in Kentucky. He is a fan of Southern rock, bourbon and horse racing.

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