DHEC Publishes South Carolina’s COVID-19 Vaccination Plan; Latest COVID-19 Update (October 16, 2020)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
October 16, 2020
COLUMBIA, S.C. — Today, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) submitted to the U.S. Department of Health and Humans Services (HHS) the state’s COVID-19 Vaccination Plan. The overarching goal of this vaccination plan is the equitable distribution of the vaccine across the state, based on the most current federal guidance and recommendations.
DHEC; the South Carolina Emergency Management Division; South Carolina Hospital Association; National Guard; South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division; Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation; and other public and private sector partners worked closely to develop the plan. It is available online at scdhec.gov/covid19vaccine.
“Safety is the top priority in any vaccine development and no vaccine will be released until it has undergone the rigorous scientific and clinical testing that’s required as part of all vaccine development,” said Dr. Linda Bell, South Carolina State Epidemiologist. “Scientists had already begun research for coronavirus vaccines during previous outbreaks caused by related coronaviruses, and that earlier research provided a head start for rapid development of vaccines to protect against infection with the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV2, the virus that causes COVID-19.”
During the initial stages of the national COVID-19 Vaccination Program, there will be a limited supply of the vaccine. That limited supply will be made available to certain identified groups, including front-line medical workers and nursing home residents. COVID-19 vaccine supply is expected to increase substantially and be more widely available to the public in 2021.
For more information, including frequently asked questions about COVID-19 vaccines, visit scdhec.gov/covid19vaccine.
Daily COVID-19 Update (October 16, 2020)
Today, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) announced 897 new confirmed cases and 76 new probable cases of the novel coronavirus COVID-19, 5 additional confirmed deaths and 3 new probable deaths.
This brings the total number of confirmed cases to 155,799, probable cases to 6,454, confirmed deaths to 3,405, and 210 probable deaths.
Who Should Get Tested?
If you are out and about in the community, around others, or not able to socially distance or wear a mask, we recommend that you get tested at least once a month.
Routine testing allows public health workers to diagnose those who are asymptomatic and interrupt the ongoing spread of the virus. Learn more about who should get tested here.
437 Testing Opportunities Available Statewide
Testing for COVID-19 is essential because it helps identify people who are infected with the virus, whether they have symptoms or not.
DHEC is working with community partners to set up mobile testing clinics and make testing available in communities across the state. Currently, there are 119 mobile testing events scheduled through December 2 and there are 318 permanent COVID-19 testing facilities across the state. Find a testing clinic or event near you at scdhec.gov/covid19testing.
Testing in South Carolina
As of yesterday, a total of 1,720,120 tests have been conducted in the state. See a detailed breakdown of tests in South Carolina on the Data and Projections webpage. DHEC’s Public Health Laboratory is operating extended hours and is testing specimens seven days a week, and the Public Health Laboratory’s current timeframe for providing results to health care providers is 24-48 hours.
The total number of individual test results reported to DHEC yesterday statewide was 7,805 (not including antibody tests) and the percent positive was 11.5%.
Hospital Bed Occupancy
Hospitals report their information each day to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services by way of TeleTracking, and that same reporting is also provided to DHEC. Click here to view data from today's TeleTracking report.
For the latest information related to COVID-19 visit scdhec.gov/COVID-19. Visit scdmh.net for stress, anxiety and mental health resources from the S.C. Department of Mental Health.
*As new information is provided to the department, some changes in cases may occur. Cases are reported based on the person’s county of residence, as it is provided to the department. DHEC’s COVID-19 map will adjust to reflect any reclassified cases.