A look at current COVID trends

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By: Jessica O’Connor

As Colleton County residents squeeze in their last summer vacations and prepare for their children to return to the classroom, COVID remains a concern for some.

Data from the Mayo Clinic shows that the average daily cases per 100,000 people in South Carolina peaked around July 14, 2022 for the first time since mid-May. The data reported 52.8 daily cases per 100,000 people at that time, although that number has begun to slowly decline again.

The total number of COVID cases reported for Colleton County (9,993) since the beginning of the pandemic remains modest in comparison to neighboring Dorchester (60,117) and Charleston (122,143) counties. The Mayo Clinic also reports that the average daily cases number for Colleton County in the past week is 19.6 as opposed to 79.9 in Dorchester County and 183.7 in Charleston County.

Colleton County also maintains a modest number of citizens with completed COVID vaccinations. SC DHEC estimates that at this time approximately 19,326 individuals are fully vaccinated out of an estimated 37,481 total residents in the county.

Yale Medicine reports that the BA.5 strain is currently responsible for more than 50% of COVID cases. This strain is said to be the most contagious yet, but does not appear to have caused a spike in hospitalizations like other strains may have. UC Davis Health notes that the BA.5 strain shares some symptoms with a generic summer cold, such as a runny nose, cough, and sore throat. Symptoms of the BA.5 strain that may signal something more than a cold include muscle pain, headaches, and unusual fatigue.

Common sense measures are still some of the most effective ways to help prevent the contraction and spread of COVID. Practice good hand washing and surface disinfecting habits. Maintain a respectful distance from others while in public areas. Most importantly, if you feel unwell, stay home.

Information on where residents can receive the COVID-19 vaccine is available at https://vaxlocator.dhec.sc.gov/ . More information on frequently asked questions about testing and the disease in general, as well as current trends, can be found at DHEC’s dedicated COVID website, https://scdhec.gov/COVID19.

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