COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) – The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) on Wednesday reported 6,697 new COVID-19 cases, the third-highest single day total since the beginning of the pandemic.

The previous single-day highs came in the beginning of January, with 7,680 cases reported on January 6 and 7,450 cases reported on January 8.

Since July 24, that state has recorded over at least 1,000 cases per day “and has had two days with more than 5,000 cases and two [days] with more than 4,000 [cases] in the last two weeks.”

Roughly one month prior on June 19 and 20, fewer than 100 cases statewide were reported each day.

“The trend is going in the wrong direction,” DHEC warned in a Friday statement. “The expected surge in new cases once children returned to school across South Carolina and the proliferation of the highly transmissible Delta variant has fueled a spike that requires our attention and legislative consideration of the removal of masking restrictions.”

DHEC Director Dr. Ed Simmer said that it is critical for everyone to understand the risk being posed by the virus’ current trajectory.

“Without a corresponding surge in vaccinations to meet this challenge and universal indoor masking in public places, my fear is that more grim milestones are ahead.”

Dr. Ed Simmer

Simmer encouraged everyone eligible to get vaccinated as soon as possible.