COLUMBIA, S.C. — The Delta variant is climbing and affecting more children than ever, according to data presented by the Department of Health and Environmental Control.
Dr. Jonathan Knoche, a medical consultant with SCDHEC shared COVID19 the data Wednesday during a media briefing.
“I want to start today’s briefing by highlighting some sobering but important numbers that we’re seeing here across the state," Dr. Knoche says since August 30th, the 11-20 age group has the highest number of new cases in the state. The second highest was the group from birth to 10-years old.
He says on the week of June 10th, there were just 173 cases for 11-20-year-olds and as of last week, that number has increased to 7,713.
“I’d also like to share details from a report of the SC Children’s Hospital Collaborative," Dr. Knoche says, "their August 30th report shows that of the 35 kids who were to be hospitalized from complications of Covid, 97% were unvaccinated. That total includes nine children who are in the ICU’s and four who are currently relying on ventilators to breathe.”
Dr. Knoche says that since the Delta variant is more transmissible than other variants, it is taking a toll on kids especially those in school who aren’t masking, “What we’re seeing across the state right now in a setting with a highly transmissible Delta variant strain of covid19," Dr. Knoche says, "where children are now congregating in school settings, with some people wearing masks but I would say there’s probably a large proportion of other’s that aren’t wearing masks, its kind of a perfect storm for higher numbers of Covid cases in children and that leads to, just by the numbers, leads to more children winding up in the hospitals or in the ICU or on ventilators as we discussed.”
He says that vaccination for everyone eligible is the best way to bring these numbers back down, “Simply put, these routine analyses show the effectiveness of vaccines. CDC and several other health agencies have credible, peer-reviewed studies that show the effectiveness of wearing masks. We’ve said it before and we will continue to say it: we can end this pandemic if we increase our vaccination rates, to do that, we need all south Carolinians to do their part in protecting themselves and their loved ones," says Dr. Knoche.
For more state vaccine data and information on how you can sign up, visit this website.