Coronavirus updates for Nov. 23: Here’s what to know in South Carolina this week


We’re tracking the most up-to-date information about the coronavirus and vaccines in South Carolina. Check back each week for updates.

Nearly 2,800 COVID cases in SC last week

The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control on Tuesday, Nov. 22, reported 2,790 COVID-19 cases for the week ending Nov. 19 and 16 coronavirus-related deaths for the week ending Nov. 12.

The counts include probable and confirmed coronavirus cases and deaths.

An estimated 1.7 million coronavirus cases have been reported in South Carolina, and more than 18,700 people have died of the virus since March 2020, according to state health officials.

According to the DHEC website, it recently began “a two-week delay in COVID-19 death reporting. The weekly reports will include the number of deaths from two weeks prior.” For example, deaths reported this week reflect deaths from Nov. 6-12.

Data shows COVID-19 cases are down about 6% compared with this time last week, and hospitalizations dipped about 7%. As of Nov. 19, an average of 202 people in the state were hospitalized with the coronavirus, including 29 patients being treated in intensive care and 10 patients on ventilators, the latest data shows.

The omicron subvariant BA.5 accounted for nearly 92% of coronavirus strains identified in South Carolina for the week ending Nov. 5, followed by subvariant BA.4.6 (2.7%), according to the latest data. The DHEC’s Public Health Laboratory conducts sequencing on randomly chosen samples as part of nationwide efforts to find out about new strains of the virus, the agency’s website reads.

About 53% of South Carolinians eligible to receive a coronavirus vaccine are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and nearly 62% have received at least one dose, state health data shows.

COVID booster may lower protection against omicron reinfection, study finds. Here’s why

A COVID-19 booster, specifically a third vaccine dose, may lower protection against getting infected with the omicron variant again for some people — and there’s a reason why, new findings suggest.

In contrast, two vaccine doses, followed by an initial omicron infection, may protect more against a second omicron infection than an extra jab, according to a preprint study published this month to medRxiv, a server run by Yale, BMJ and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. This is due to a specific reaction within the immune system, researchers concluded.

Here’s what the findings mean.

“If you got infected with Omicron at any time, a third vaccine dose actually doubles your risk of reinfection compared to 2 doses only,” Dr. Daniele Focosi, who specializes in hematology and works at Pisa University Hospital in Italy, wrote on Twitter in response to the findings. “Amazing immune imprinting at work.”

Read the full story here.

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