CHARLESTON S.C.- (WCBD)- As COVID-19 cases increase across South Carolina, many due to the delta variant, Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg and MUSC’s top doctor encouraging the unvaccinated to get their shots.
“Almost all the cases that we are seeing, people with COVID-19 infections, it’s almost all delta variant at this point,” said MUSC Health CEO Dr. Patrick Cawley.
The delta variant is more easily transmissible and accounts for almost 100% of MUSC’s positive tests.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) placing Charleston County as an area of high transmission for the virus. The CDC recommending that those who are fully vaccinated wear face coverings while indoors and out in public while in high transmission areas.
The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) echoing that advice as well as Mayor Tecklenburg as he encouraged vaccinations.
“The way to avoid having to wear these masks again folks is to get vaccinated. That’s what we need to focus on,” said Tecklenburg.
According to the mayor, a mask mandate for the City of Charleston is not out of the question if conditions surrounding the virus do not improve.
“You know we’re going to watch the number and listen to folks like Doctor Cawley. And if folks don’t get vaccinated and our numbers continue to rise we’re gonna have to look at all alternatives we can’t rule it out,” said Tecklenburg.
Mount Pleasant Mayor, Will Haynie, told News 2 that a mask mandate is difficult to enact without states of emergencies from the state and county plus an executive order from the governor.
Dr. Cawley warning that not getting vaccinated and stopping the spread can lead to more variants.
“If we do not get our arms around this it will mutate. We’ll be dealing with a different mutation six months from now. If you look closely at what’s going on around the world there are other mutations out there,” said Cawley.