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COVID-19 cases spike in South Carolina following holidays

Health experts say they saw this coming.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Richland, Lexington, Kershaw, Newberry, and Fairfield counties have some of the highest numbers of infections in the Midlands, according to South Carolina's health agency, DHEC.

Dianne Dixon was at a COVID-19 test site in Richland County.

"I was tested the Monday after Christmas because I felt really bad and it was a positive," she said. 

Dixon isn't the only person lining up for a COVID-19 test.

"The other girls in my Bible study tested positive and they're nurses," said Dr. Helmut Albrecht, an infectious disease doctor at Prisma Health. He says health experts warned this was coming.

"It's gonna get worse before it gets better," Albrecht said.

He added some of the data shown only accounts for official testing sites and does not include at-home tests. This is only a small snapshot of the larger picture.

"The numbers that we are seeing now are two weeks old almost, so it'll get much worse," Dr. Albrecht said.

He said as more people return for school and from holiday vacation the numbers will continue to increase.

"People need to take that seriously, as well," Albrecht said.

The CDC says when COVID-19 community level is high it's recommended to wear a high-quality mask. Those at high risk of getting sick should consider avoiding non-essential indoor activities.

"Distance yourself as much as you can. Keep good hand hygiene if you're eligible for a booster again think whether you would rather wear masks and going into very busy stores," he added.

More data for COVID-19 cases is expected to be released Tuesday on the status of the virus in the Midlands.

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