Columbia brings back COVID testing, vaccination sites amid new case spike | Columbia News

COLUMBIA — A spike in COVID-19 conditions in Richland County, probable a result of a pick up in spring vacation, has led the metropolis of Columbia to get the job done with point out officers to reopen vaccination and tests web sites.

Columbia has not hosted COVID testing and vaccine sites because February when circumstances from the Omicron variant died down.

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COVID-19 once again rising in Charleston, across the state

Now, condition well being officials are seeing an uptick in cases this month from the BA.2 variant. 

This will come when situations have amplified by all-around 35% since the commencing of the calendar year in Richland County, according to S.C. Division of Well being and Environmental Control knowledge. The county’s new situation rate has doubled in the previous two months to a amount previous strike in past February, according to details compiled by The New York Situations. 

South Carolina has witnessed the nation’s most important spike in situations over the previous two months and the fourth-best raise in hospitalizations, according to The New York Occasions. 

“Don’t be anxious, rather do a little something actionable,” explained Dr. Jane Kelly, DHEC’s assistant epidemiologist. “No. 1, get vaccinated. If you might be vaccinated, get boosted. No. 2, think about your relatives members. You know we have got risk-free and productive vaccine for everybody ages 5 and over.”

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DHEC encourages residents to monitor COVID-19 stats amid rise in cases

Now, DHEC, in partnership with Columbia, are hosting several sites at the identical parks for the subsequent several months the place individuals can get vaccines, boosters and self-adminstered fast antigen exams.

Columbia resumed the websites in the past 7 days and has prepared much more in coming months. South Carolina ranks in the bottom 15 states in comprehensive-vaccination prices, in accordance New York Times information. Richland County is marginally earlier mentioned the point out common with 60 percent of citizens totally vaccinated.

There are no indications that local governments will reinstate mask specifications or other protection steps like these imposed when the outbreak started out two several years back. Approximately 1.5 million COVID cases have been claimed in South Carolina because 2020 with almost 18,000 dying from the virus.

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DHEC recommends COVID-19 boosters for kids ages 5-11

“We have occur into an period the place we have much less masked mandates,” Kelly mentioned. “Folks are no for a longer period putting on masks on general public transportation. Young children is unmasked at faculties. So there is certainly much more possibility of spreading from a single person to an additional.”

The Columbia web-sites will be open from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on these times:

  • June 7 and June 9: Melrose Park, 1500 Fairview Road
  • June 14 and June 16: Hampton Park, 1117 Brandon Ave. 
  • June 21 and June 23: Drew Wellness Heart, 2117 Walker Solomon Way 

Places of other testing and vaccine web-sites can be observed at scdhec.gov/covid19/covid-19-tests-spots

Andy Shain contributed from Columbia.