COVID-19 hitting the young harder

3 mins read

By Mike McCombs

While COVID-19 has taken quite a toll on older South Carolina residents, younger South Carolinians shouldn’t hold a false sense of security.

Dr. Joan Duwve, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control’s Director of Public Health said in a Friday, June 26 press conference that as part of the surge, COVID-19 cases are up more than 400 percent in adults ages 21-30 since April.

“We are aware of clusters of cases among teenagers and young adults … including on trips to our beautiful beaches,” Duwve said. “They didn’t wear masks, and they didn’t social distance.”

“First thing I’d like to say … particularly to young people is, this is a dangerous, deadly disease,” Governor Henry McMaster said. “You’ve got to follow the rules. Wear your mask. Keep that distance from people. Wash your hands.”

Duwve also made note of the fact that the state was being noticed for its skyrocketing coronavirus cases. Six states have been requiring travelers who visited South Carolina to quarantine for two weeks.

Leave it to the cities, towns and counties

At press time, Beaufort and Hilton Head Island had approved mask ordinances, while Port Royal, Bluffton and Beaufort County had mask ordinances on their immediate agendas.

This situation was created when S.C. Governor Henry McMaster refused to enact a statewide ordinance n Friday, when he extended South Carolina’s state of emergency.

McMaster called a statewide mask mandate “impractical” and “not enforcable.”

“For me to tell you everybody is required to wear a mask, and for me to not be able to enforce it, will give a false sense of security to those who believe everyone is following the rules,” McMaster said.

But McMaster did strongly urge residents to voluntarily wear masks, saying they may be one of the only ways the state can slow the COVID-19 outbreak.

Hospital numbers at a high

As of Monday, there are 1,032 hospitalized across the state for COVID-19. That is a record high for the state, breaking the previous record of 954, set the day before.

There were 824 hospitalized at the start of the week with the total increasing every day.

Ballooning numbers

On Sunday, June 28, the state set a record when 20.1 percent of those tested came back positive. For comparison’s sake, prior to Gov. McMaster opening the state up again, the state averaged between 2 and 4 percent positive.

Free drive-thru testing in Bluffton

State Senator Tom Davis announced on his Facebook page a free drive-thru Covid-19 testing event for the Bluffton-Sun City Hilton Head area. The event will be conducted by DHEC and the S.C. National Guard from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, July 2 at USC Beaufort’s Bluffton Campus.

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