23 SC counties should mask up in public for COVID, CDC says

South Carolina residents across about half of the state should wear masks in public because of spiking COVID-19 cases, federal health officials recommend.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s community levels map as of Sunday shows 23 counties with high levels of COVID-19, up from 21 counties a week earlier. The latest map comes as the state has seen a growing surge in new COVID-19 cases over recent months.

The latest map also shows 19 counties with medium levels of COVID-19 and four counties with low levels.

This is in marked contrast to the fall, when the map showed all 46 counties with low COVID levels.

The CDC recommends communities with high levels of COVID-19 wear masks indoors in public and on public transportation. It also recommends staying up to date with COVID-19 vaccines, getting tested if you have symptoms and, if you are at high risk for severe illness, to take additional precautions.

For communities at medium levels, the CDC recommends people wear masks if they have symptoms, have had a positive test or were recently exposed to someone with COVID-19.

The latest statistics from the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control indicate that there were 11,030 new COVID-19 cases for the week ending Jan. 7, a 4% jump over the previous week. Meanwhile, the latest DHEC death count shows there were 48 COVID-19 related deaths for the week ending Dec. 31, up from three reported deaths the week prior.

Besides masking, staying up to date on vaccinations and boosters, as well as testing when recommended, are important steps in preventing COVID-19 spread, the DHEC states.

Here are the 23 counties with high COVID-19 levels, according to the CDC.

  1. Cherokee
  2. Chester
  3. Chesterfield
  4. Clarendon
  5. Colleton
  6. Darlington
  7. Dillon
  8. Dorchester
  9. Fairfield
  10. Florence
  11. Georgetown
  12. Kershaw
  13. Lancaster
  14. Lexington
  15. Marion
  16. Marlboro
  17. Newberry
  18. Pickens
  19. Richland
  20. Spartanburg
  21. Sumter
  22. Union
  23. Williamsburg

Here are the 19 counties with medium levels of COVID-19.

  1. Abbeville
  2. Aiken
  3. Anderson
  4. Beaufort
  5. Berkeley
  6. Charleston
  7. Edgefield
  8. Greenwood
  9. Greenville
  10. Hampton
  11. Horry
  12. Jasper
  13. Laurens
  14. Lee
  15. McCormick
  16. Oconee
  17. Orangeburg
  18. Saluda
  19. York

Patrick McCreless is the service journalism editor for The State, where he and a team of reporters write about trending news of the day and topics that help readers in their daily lives and better informs them about their communities. He attended Jacksonville State University in Alabama and grew up in Tuscaloosa, AL.

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