Health officials in South Carolina are advising people who visited its beaches and didn’t social distance or wear a mask to get tested for the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus as the state has emerged as a hot spot amid a surge in cases in the past few weeks.
The total of confirmed cases in the state stands at 30,263, while the total reported deaths are 694, Joan Duwve, director of public health with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC), said during Gov. Henry McMaster’s press conference on June 26.
“South Carolina is making national and international headlines, but not in the way we’d like,” Duwve said. ”Our state’s numbers have drastically increased over the past few weeks, making us now one of the hot spots in the country for COVID-19.”
Infection cases are particularly high among those who have visited the state’s beaches and according to Duwve, there are reports of groups who visited the beaches testing positive.
— SCDHEC (@scdhec) June 26, 2020
South Carolina beaches are a popular tourist destination for people from out-of-state and SCDHEC said it has received reports of clusters of cases of infection among teenage and young adults.
“They didn’t wear masks, and they didn’t social distance, and many of them contracted the virus, which not only caused them to be sick, but put the health of their families and their entire communities at risk,” Duwve said.
Since April 4, there has been a 414 percent surge in cases among the 21–30 age group, as well as a 966 percent increase in the 11–20 age group.
“We’ll continue to say it until more people heed our recommendations. Wear a mask. Social distance from others by at least six feet. Avoid group gatherings. Wash your hands and stay home when you’re sick,” Duwve said.
Due to the surge, six states, including New York, have made it mandatory for those coming from South Carolina to self-quarantine for 14 days.
“When I arrived here at the beginning of April, it was just the opposite,” Duwve said. ”New York, which was once our country’s epicenter for COVID-19, is now having to quarantine South Carolinians who come.”
The state has set up pop-up testing sites at many places and there’s no cost for the screenings. SCDHEC has advised anyone who made a school trip or participated in a group social setting on the beach to make use of these testing sites.