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Coronavirus cases rising across the Midlands

Infectious disease experts predict surges following the 4th of July weekend.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — States across the nation are seeing spikes in COVID-19 cases, with increased reports of hospitalizations and deaths seen across the country. 

Here in the Midlands, case numbers are rising as well.

According to DHEC's latest data, there were 188 total new COVID-19 cases reported as on June 29th. There were 151 cases reported on June 27th and 90 on June 26th. 

Infectious Disease Specialist, Dr. Divya Ahuja, from Prisma Health predicts South Carolina will see numbers spike over the coming weeks. "I think there will be an increase, we all think there will be an increase, how much only time will tell," says Dr. Ahuja.

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"I think we are going to see a slight increase, after July 4th weekend… and we are going to see more of the Delta cases."

DHEC's data shows a decline in cases over the last month, along with decreases in hospitalizations and deaths, but according to the agency, there've been 10 confirmed cases of the Delta variant across the state.

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Dr. Ahuja says, "Every week it is doubling. More than 20-25% of cases in the United states are the Delta variant."

In a statement DHEC said, "With the Fourth of July holiday upon us, we may see an increase in cases, including cases of the Delta variant since the Delta variant is more transmissible than other variants."

"There's a Delta plus floating around and its only a matter of time before we see that," said Dr. Ahuja.

The experts say vaccination is key in protecting yourself and your loved ones, Dr. Ahuja says, "One dose of the Pfizer vaccine is only 30-35% protective against the delta variant but if somebody has had both doses, either Pfizer or Moderna, they are 90% protected against the Delta variant."