CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – South Carolina’s health leaders are recommending the use of face masks in indoor settings, including schools and workplaces, as COVID levels rise across the state.

Multiple counties in the Lowcountry – including Berkeley, Charleston, Colleton, Dorchester, Georgetown and Williamsburg – are among those with high community levels of COVID-19 transmission, according to updated information from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

“In communities with high levels of COVID-19, masking is recommended in indoor settings, including schools and workplaces,” said officials from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.

DHEC reported more than 16,000 cases of COVID-19 statewide as of July 23, with 538 people hospitalized for the virus.