LANCASTER COUNTY, S.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – A 16-year-old in Lancaster County died of COVID-19 Thursday, according to the Lancaster County Coroner’s Office.
Chief Deputy Coroner Jennifer Collins confirmed the death Friday that the teen “succumbed to COVID-19.”
South Carolina has reported a recent rise in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations.
The state’s top disease specialist said this week that the state is heading in the wrong direction when it comes to COVID-19 spread.
“I have never been more concerned about the health of our state than I am today,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Linda Bell.
South Carolina’s vaccination rate remains below the national average. The state legislature has also passed a law banning local school districts and cities from instituting mask mandates.
Governor Henry McMaster has remained defiant about the state’s school mask mandate ban, despite pushback from some parents and school districts.
“It seems to many of us that it’s not right that a child, who has no voice, should be required to wear a mask to protect adults who certainly do have a voice,” said McMaster.
Bell said having unmasked students and staff together could be a dangerous mix as many students prepare to head back to class Monday.