DHEC reminding residents about importance of masking up

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO) – State Health officials say you may want to mask up.

This as many counties in South Carolina have high or medium levels of covid-19 cases, according to the Center for Diseases Control.

According to data last week…

“All but two counties is in the high or medium metrics with them even spit almost – 21 high, 23 medium. We’re seeing that in majority of the state. Certainly anywhere you have people more closely congregated together regardless of the population of the county but anywhere where there might be malls, movie theaters, indoor sporting arenas, concert halls etc. you can see more spread,”  says Doctor Brannon Traxler with S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control. 

As of last week the CDC’s community levels map showed 21 counties in the red meaning high transmission levels including Richland, Lexington, Newberry and Spartanburg. The data map also showed 23 counties in yellow for medium transmission levels including Charleston, Florence and Saluda. 

Doctor Traxler says masking is an individual decision but you should make an accurate informed one.

“That includes looking at your own risk factors, looking at the risk factors of the people in your household or people that you may work closely with or associate closely with and certainly when things are in the red on the community levels. Really give serious thought and consideration towards masking when you’re in crowded situations,” says Doctor Traxler. 

Doctor Traxler is warning residents to mask up especially when you consider the severe cases resulting in hospitalizations and death.

“So my message to everyone is to monitor these community levels that’s put out every Thursday, have a sense of where your county is on those and make the choices that are best for you and your family. Certainly for those who are in the household and are higher risk for severe disease or may be immunocompromised they’re going to want to probably think longer and harder and be more likely to mask up and certainly get their vaccines,” says Doctor Traxler. 

Doctor Traxler says the best protection is wearing a mask and getting the latest booster. 

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