DHEC sees highest total of new COVID cases in younger South Carolinians


COLUMBIA, S.C. (WSPA) — According to state health officials, South Carolinians age 11 to 20 accounted for 7,713 COVID-19 cases last week.

State data shows during the week of June 12 to 19, the same age group made up 173 of the cases reported statewide.

South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental (DHEC) Medical Consultant Dr. Jonathan Knoche said the 11-20 age group has recorded the highest number of new cases in the state since August 21.

The 0-10 age group is the second highest, he said.

According to Dr. Knoche, the 0-10 age group also saw the highest percentage increase in that span. Students returning to school settings without being required to wear face coverings contributed to this increase, he added.

“What we’re seeing across the state right now…is a highly transmissible delta variant and children congregating in school settings with some wearing masks and a large proportion not wearing masks. It is a perfect storm for higher cases in children,” Knoche explained.

The South Carolina Children’s Hospital Collaborative — a group of children’s hospitals in the state — says there are 12 children in their ICUs with COVID-19 as of Sept, 1.

Five of those children are currently on a ventilator to breathe.

According to Dr. Knoche, DHEC is reporting 15 pediatric deaths due to COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.

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