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COVID-19 Omicron variant

  • South Carolina lawmakers are opening their 2022 session with the familiar problem of the COVID-19 pandemic and a more unfamiliar problem of bank accounts bursting with money. The House spent an hour reading bills while the Senate set for priority debate a bill to overhaul the certificate of need program that regulates health care in the state. The General Assembly will meet for 18 weeks through mid-May in the second year of their two-year session Even with the omicron variant spreading, the House and Senate are meeting in person. Staff must wear masks, but members can choose and public viewing balconies in both chambers remain closed.
  • As new cases of COVID-19 soar in South Carolina, residents getting tested have a lot more company than normal — and state health officials aren't mincing words.
  • Governors across the U.S. took sweeping action during earlier surges of the COVID-19 pandemic, but are taking a much different approach during the record-setting caseloads caused by the omicron variant. Previously, many of them closed schools or ordered businesses shut down. They issued mask mandates, vaccine requirements and, in some places, quarantines for those who had traveled to hot spots out of state. While governors are now sending help to hospitals, they are displaying little appetite for widespread public orders or shutdowns even as the omicron surge shatters COVID-19 case records.
  • South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster says there's no need to close schools and businesses because of the omicron variant of COVID-19. McMaster says state officials have learned lessons from the first two years of the pandemic and the variant doesn't seem to be as serious or deadly, especially among the vaccinated. South Carolina's health director agrees, saying hospitalization numbers haven't followed the rapid rise in cases. South Carolina reported more than 10,000 new cases of COVID-19 on back-to-back days this past weekend — a level never seen even in the sharp peaks of the winter and summer of 2021.