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COVID-19 is on the rise again in South Carolina

Many South Carolina counties have returned to high coronavirus transmission rates, according to CDC data. Here’s the latest on the rise in Delta variants, COVID-19 guides, and more in SC.

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South Carolina House Democratic Leader Todd Rutherford said Wednesday that the state has seen 10,000 coronavirus deaths due to a “failure in leadership”.

The Columbia Democrat omitted no names in its testimony.

“Ten thousand people in South Carolina have died from COVID-19. This is the result of a failure in leadership, ”he said. “These deaths were preventable if we put public health above politics. Instead, Governor McMaster and Attorney General Wilson are ignoring science and fighting with schools and local governments taking action to save lives. “

South Carolina health officials announced Wednesday that 10,007 people have died from COVID. The dire milestone comes as the virus spikes in the state, fueled by the Delta variant and low vaccination rates, health officials said.

In response, Attorney General Alan Wilson’s office said, “This is not a political issue, or even a mask requirement, it is a matter of obeying the law. The legislature has passed a budget reservation that expressly prohibits schools from requiring masks. The leadership of the House and Senate told us that was the intention of the legislature. We have to obey the law. “

The governor’s office also responded.

“So Rep. Rutherford is sending unsolicited press releases about the tragic death of the South Carolinians and accusing others of playing politics?” Government spokesman Brian Symmes said. “The truth is, Governor McMaster’s priority is to provide the South Carolinians with the information they need about the virus, to make the vaccine available to anyone who wants it, and to trust them to make decisions that are best for themselves and their families. “

Last week, the city of Columbia passed an ordinance mandating the wearing of masks in elementary, middle schools and daycare centers in the city to help stem the surge in virus cases.

Wilson and Governor Henry McMaster have called the city’s move illegal because state lawmakers passed a bill under the budget stating that state funds cannot be used to fund masking mandates in schools. McMaster has said parents should decide whether their children wear masks.

David Travis Bland won the 2017 SC Press Association Judson Chapman Award for Community Journalism. He joined The State in 2018. He writes on crime, law enforcement, and the criminal justice system. In 2010 he graduated from the University of South Carolina.
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