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SC downgraded from 'high' to 'substantial' coronavirus spread, with top ranking in the US on these metrics

The CDC COVID-19 transmission map shows South Carolina has dropped from the red to orange tier, with counties in the southern half in the best shape.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — After COVID-19 surges in the late summer, South Carolina is coming off its high transmission levels, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention downgrading the state from "high" to "substantial" spread.

The latest CDC transmission map shows the Palmetto State sitting in the orange transmission tier, with test positivity rate under 5% and fewer than 3,400 new cases reported over the last seven days.

Most of the high transmission counties in the state, including the Charlotte-region counties, are in its northern half. A large share of the substantial transmission counties is to the south.

Six counties are in the moderate transmission category (yellow): Fairfield, Calhoun, Bamberg, Dillon, Marion, and Williamsburg Counties.

A recent White House COVID-19 report shows South Carolina ranking in the top 10 nationally for best per capita cases and test positivity. It ranks 14th in the country for coronavirus hospital admissions per available beds.

According to the CDC transmission map, most of the easing of viral spread is happening in the Southeast. Conversely, more than half of the U.S. is seeing a rise in infections, as the country closes in on 100,000 new cases daily once again. 

Credit: CDC

While both Carolinas have experienced some improvements in their COVID-19 metrics since late summer, doctors remain cautious about the holidays and are monitoring slight rises in the coronavirus metrics again. They urge vaccination as the primary way to prevent another surge.

“85 to 90% of patients admitted to our hospitals with COVID are unvaccinated,” Dr. David Priest, an infectious disease specialist with Novant Health said. “The individuals who are admitted and unvaccinated have an average age of 58 years old.” 

Contact Vanessa Ruffes at vruffes@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram