COLUMBIA, S.C. — The Institute of Medicine and Public Health in South Carolina released a report along with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control on COVID-19's impact in the state in 2020.
Maya Pack is the Executive Director of the South Carolina IMPH. The 2020 report is set to help lawmakers make informed decisions on COVID-19 recovery efforts, according to Pack.
“People need to be tuned in to the impact of the pandemic because right now, it’s getting worse," Pack says, "Things will get worse before they get better. And there’s a lot of help with the vaccine and the vaccine rollout happening right now but it’s going to be several months before the majority of our population is able to be vaccinated. So we all need to continue to be vigilant with face masks, they say now wear two, and social distancing and hand touching”
The report lays out data concerning the affects of the pandemic including deaths, testing, and hospitalizations among other things.
“In 2020 Richland County actually had the third-highest number of deaths due to COVID in the state," Pack said.
60.7% of COVID-19 deaths were comorbid with a cardiovascular condition, according to the data. The report also shows uneven affects of the virus on the state's Black population, showing that though they are 27% of the state’s population, they made up 35% of COVID-19 deaths.
“There are policy solutions and ideas about how we can move forward with a more equitable health outcome in our state," says Pack.
To read the full report, click here.