COLUMBIA, S.C. — News 19 takes a deeper look at the number of coronavirus deaths in South Carolina after the country surpassed half a million COVID-19 deaths since the pandemic started.
As the coronavirus pandemic continues, the number of cases and deaths across the state and the country continues to rise.
With the pandemic starting in South Carolina around March last year, WLTX wanted to take a deeper look at the numbers.
The United States has reached more than 500,000 deaths from COVID-19.
Here in South Carolina, the total number of confirmed deaths is 7,417, and the total probable deaths is 915.
If we take a look back at the last year, January 2021 was the deadliest month by far. According to statistics from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC), the Palmetto State saw nearly 2,000 confirmed and probable deaths in that month alone.
Overall in the Midlands area, Richland County leads with the most coronavirus deaths at 488. Lexington County follows with 426.
With that being said, we're near the end of February and the state has seen less than a thousand deaths. But, there are still a few days remaining in the month.
Also, the number of people who are hospitalized due to COVID-19 is down and the rate of infection is dropping.
While things are trending downward, experts say you shouldn't let your guard down.
People should continue to follow safety guidelines to help prevent the spread of variants of COVID-19.
Dr. Linda Bell with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control said in a statement:
"Our country has surpassed a sad and somber milestone of 500,000 Americans who have lost their lives to COVID-19. This pandemic has taken so much from each of us but no loss is greater than grieving for a loved one. More than 8,300 South Carolinians have died because of this terrible disease, the likes of which we haven't seen in more than 100 years.
COVID-19 vaccines are the light at the end of the tunnel, and while every state in the country works to vaccinate people as quickly as possible, vaccines are currently a limited, albeit invaluable, resource right now. Until there is enough vaccine for everyone, we must remain committed to doing what's right and taking the steps that help stop this virus. Properly wearing our masks, physically distancing from others, washing our hands and routine testing are as important as they've ever been. We can not let up now.
We should all be disturbed by this grim milestone in our nation's history and realize how our small actions each day can impact the lives of those around us. We will get through this together by continuing to care for and protect each other."
For more information and a deeper breakdown regarding all coronavirus statistics, head to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control's website by clicking here.