COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) – The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control has launched a statewide campaign aimed at encouraging citizens to “mask up” to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The agency reported 1,964 new cases and 25 virus-related deaths on Friday, a total of 65,857 cases and 1,078 deaths statewide.
Health officials want youth and young adults to embrace wearing a face mask as numbers surge in South Carolina.
They say young adults between the ages of 21-30 currently make up 22% percent of all confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, and those ages 11-20 make up 11% of confirmed cases.
The data follows national trends which indicate a growing number of young adults and youth who are testing positive for the virus, according to DHEC.
“Most of the virus spreads through the air in drops of moisture when the person contagious with the virus breaths, talks, coughs or sneezes,” said Dr. Michael Kacka, DHEC physician and medical consultant. “Wearing a mask over the nose and mouth collects and traps some of those droplets and reduces the amount of virus someone puts out into the air around them. It doesn’t filter out all of the virus, however, which is why social distancing is very important along with wearing masks. By reducing the amount of virus put out into the air, we reduce the chances that those sharing a space will encounter enough virus to become infected.”
Charleston County currently leads the state in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases with 305 reported on Friday, 8,966 total cases.