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Coronavirus

S. Carolina Health Officials Say that Reopening the State may Have Caused an Increase in COVID-19 Cases

COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina health officials have acknowledged that reopening the state may have caused a recent increase in COVID-19 cases.

But they also said the state likely won’t shut down businesses again, saying damaging the economy doesn’t help anyone. Instead, people need to take their own safety into their own hands by following the now well-known guidelines of wearing masks.

“There are steps we can be taking without having government come in and say we are going to shut everything down,” said state Director of Public Health Dr. Joan Duwve.

State health officials had been blaming South Carolina’s COVID-19 spike on an increase in testing, so Wednesday’s acknowledgement that recent high school graduation ceremonies, weekend parties and open businesses and restaurants could be causing more infections was a change in message.

Three of the daily highest case counts since the pandemic started have been reported in the past week in South Carolina. The two highest death counts have occurred in the past week – 20 deaths on May 27 and 17 deaths on Wednesday.

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