Lexington County is still recommended to mask against COVID-19 this week, though there is no official update to the county’s Community Level from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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Due to system updates within the state’s Infectious Disease and Outbreak Network, the state Department of Health and Environmental Control reported that it was unable to get data to the CDC in time for the weekly update. The Community Levels are issued for every county in the country, using the latest local data to advise best practices for combating COVID.
“Next week's CDC update will have the correct information,” DHEC replied when asked if there would be a Community Level update coming from the state. “COVID-19 levels throughout much of SC remain high and we encourage residents to mask when appropriate and stay up-to-date on vaccines and boosters.”
A spokesperson for DHEC told the Chronicle that it maintains the same recommendations for S.C. counties as last week, which means Lexington and the 36 other counties with a high level are again recommended to mask in indoor settings, including schools and workplaces.
As of last week, Lexington County’s level had been high for six of the past seven weeks, with the case rate reported along with the CDC’s Community Level updates going up for six straight weeks, rising from 243.68 per 100,000 people to 480.67.
The latest data available from DHEC indicates a dip in the county’s COVID rate, with 370.8 new cases per 100,000 people being reported in Lexington for July 24-30. The county’s case rate during this time ranked seventh among the state’s 46 counties.
Lexington neighbors Richland (No. 4 at 403.1 per 100,000 people), Orangeburg (No. 5 at 396) and Newberry (No. 6 at 372) also ranked high on DHEC’s list of COVID rates in the state for July 24-30. Fairfield County, which sits just across Richland County from Lexington, had the state’s highest rate of new cases at 430.7 per 100,000 people.
COVID deaths in Lexington County remain low. Though it ranked No. 7 in deaths for July 24-30 according to DHEC, the number of deaths reported was less than five.
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