South Carolina reports second highest day for virus cases

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina continues to see a surge of coronavirus cases as state health officials on Sunday reported more than 1,300 new cases.

The Department of Health and Environmental Control on Sunday has confirmed 1,366 new cases, the second highest number reported in a single day since the pandemic began. The state reported five additional deaths from the virus, bringing the state’s death toll from COVID-19 to 712.

The number of people hospitalized for a confirmed or suspected infection of the virus neared 1,000, state health officials said.

The state on Saturday reached a record for the highest number of cases reported in a single day with nearly 1,600 new cases.

Gov. Henry McMaster has warned residents to take precautions to curb the spread of the virus.

“Wear a mask. Wear a mask. Wear a mask,” the governor’s office tweeted.

McMaster has said he will not issue a statewide order mandating the use of face masks, arguing there is no way to enforce it. A number of local officials have moved in that direction, including the cities of Columbia, Charleston and Greenville.

The State newspaper reported there appeared to be good cooperation in the first 30 hours after Columbia's mask requirement took effect.

“So far this morning, pretty much everyone has come in with masks, which has been great. But time will tell,” said Jess Ochoa, a barista at Drip coffee shop, told the newspaper.

___

Follow AP coverage of the virus outbreak at https://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak