The impact of COVID-19 in South Carolina

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Last week, DHEC and the South Carolina Institute of Medicine and Public Health (IMPH) released a COVID-19 data brief to break down the pandemic’s impact on South Carolina from March to December 2020. 

Disclaimer: These statistics are based on data through December/early January. They do not include the most recent numbers. 


While it wasn’t nearly as widespread at the time, COVID-19 testing became available in South Carolina in March. By Jan. 3, 4,116,563 tests had been conducted in the state. The report noted that 383 testing sites across the state conducted these four million+ tests. The weekly positivity rate of these tests varied greatly, with 4.3% reported in May and 29.9% reported at the end of December

Tests conducted each month in SC | Graphic provided


Last year, there were 283,424 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in South Carolina. This is approximately equal to 55 of every 1,000 South Carolinians receiving a positive test result. DHEC and IMPH also estimated that one in every five cases in the state was asymptomatic.

As of Jan. 2, there were 5,484 reported COVID-19 deaths in the state. According to DHEC and IMPH, 78% of these cases had a comorbid condition, or one that existed at the same time such as congestive heart failure or chronic liver disease.

New COVID-19 cases each week in SC | Graph provided


The state’s vaccination effort is still operating in Phase 1A. Additional demographics, such as those aged 65 or older, have been added to the phase since it began in December. Phase 1B is currently expected to begin in early spring, but time estimates could change depending on vaccine availability + demand. According to state epidemiologist Dr. Linda Bell, over 277,000 doses of the vaccine have been administered in South Carolina (as of Jan. 27).

If you are eligible for Phase 1A and are looking for an appointment, find more information here.