MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW/WNCN) — All 46 counties in South Carolina are now colored red on the latest federal map of COVID-19 transmission levels.
The map released Wednesday night by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed 98 counties with the highest level of transmission. In North Carolina, all but two of 100 counties are colored red.
It’s the latest indication of just how fast the Delta variant is spreading.
The CDC map is driven by two key metrics — how many new cases per capita a county had during the last week and the percentage of tests found to be positive.
On Wednesday, the director of South Carolina’s lead health agency issued a statement calling for more people to get vaccinated after the state surpassed 10,000 COVID-19 related deaths.
Dr. Edward Simmer, director of the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, said South Carolina reported 15 new deaths on Wednesday, pushing the statewide total past the 10,000 mark.
He says the only way to prevent more deaths is through vaccination.
“I’ve never been more concerned about the health of our state as I am at this time,” Dr. Linda Bell, the state’s epidemiologist, said Wednesday afternoon during the Department of Health and Environmental Control’s weekly COVID-19 media briefing.
According to Bell, the pandemic is reaching a level experienced only once before, in January, with the second-highest rate of new, daily cases. During a three-week period, Bell said COVID-19 hospitalizations across the state have tripled.