DHEC: Take precautions against COVID-19 ahead of July 4th weekend

Updated: Jun. 30, 2020 at 11:10 AM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WMBF) – With the Fourth of July holiday weekend fast approaching, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control is urging residents to take the proper precautions to protect against COVID-19.

The agency has reported that many recent positive cases in the state are individuals who participated in group gatherings without keeping a safe distance from others or wearing masks.

SCDHEC recommends watching fireworks shows while remaining in your vehicles or holding virtual Fourth of July celebrations.

“The number of new positive cases in a day are the highest they’ve ever been, as is the number of people currently hospitalized due to COVID-19 complications, which is currently more than 1,000. A lack of social distancing and mask-wearing is contributing to the state’s escalating numbers,” SCDHEC said in a press release.

Younger people are increasingly testing positive for the virus, as the Palmetto State has seen a 966% increase in newly reported cases among those 11 to 20 years old, and 413% increase in those between 21 and 30 years old, according to SCDHEC.

“In addition to the disheartening increases in young people transmitting the virus to their family and friends, new data indicate that asymptomatic people can spread the virus more easily than initially thought,” said state epidemiologist Dr. Linda Bell. “If you’ve tested positive but don’t have symptoms, it’s imperative that you complete your quarantine period in order to not spread the virus to others while you’re contagious.”

On Monday, SCDHEC announced 1,320 new COVID-19 cases and four additional deaths.

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