State Sees Record Number of COVID Cases

Daniel Prince

Hospital numbers not as high as during Delta variant spike

With the emergence of the omicron variant of COVID, case numbers across the state have been rapidly increasing. Last Friday’s report showed a record number of cases reported in the state, with 6319 confirmed and 2563 probable cases, for a total of 8882. That is the highest number of cases ever reported in the state, breaking the record set last January 6 with 7686.

Hospitalization numbers are also increasing, with 921 patients in the hospital with COVID now, 54.5% more than the previous week. 199 are in the ICU, which is 19.2% higher than the previous week, and 89 are on ventilators, which is 25.4% higher than the previous week. There were 169 new admissions, an increase of 87.8% from the previous week.

Union County has seen an increase in cases, as well. Last Thursday, there were 15 confirmed and 7 probable cases reported, and on Friday, 14 confirmed and 25 probable cases were reported. Currently, there are 3 COVID patients at Union Medical Center. In Spartanburg hospitals, there are 56 COVID patients. 13 are in ICU and 5 are on ventilators.

While the hospital numbers are higher than they were a few weeks ago, it is worth noting that as has been seen around the world, those numbers aren’t nearly as high as what was seen during the delta variant. You may recall during the peak of the delta surge last September, nearly 300 patients were hospitalized at Spartanburg Regional, with 54 in the ICU and 37 on ventilators. Hospital numbers are much lower than that right now, bearing out the research that the omicron variant is highly contagious but doesn’t seem as dangerous. However, deaths are still occurring, as there were 19 deaths in the Friday report, and 10 in last Thursday’s.

As far as vaccination numbers go, in Union County, 49.7% of those ages 5 and older have had at least one shot. That’s a total of 12,803. Those completing the first series, which is one Johnson & Johnson or two Moderna or Pfizer vaccinations, are 11,144, which is 43.3% of all those eligible. Union County has the 6th-lowest vaccination rate in the state. The only counties with a lower rate are Chesterfield, Marlboro, Cherokee, Pickens, and Lancaster counties. DHEC is not yet reporting booster shot numbers.

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