The impact of COVID on the West Columbia community has been substantial, but the virus is in decline, and there is hope.
The good news regarding COVID at the end of March 2021 is that more than 23,000 vaccinations are being administered each day in South Carolina, according to Nick Davidson, a senior deputy for public health at the SC department of Health and Environmental Control.
“Vaccinations are up and cases are down,” said West Columbia Mayor Tem Miles. “We hope to soon be back to normal.”
The morbidity rate is lower, too.
The number of COVID deaths that the Lexington County Coroner’s Office is handling has been decreasing since January, said Corner Margaret Fisher.
There were 121 COVID deaths reported to, or investigated by the coroner’s office in January. There were 27 in February, and 18 in March, said Candace Berry, chief deputy coroner.
As of Monday, almost 2 million South Carolinians had been vaccinated. The state has received about 2.7 million doses of vaccine and Davidson said more is on the way.
Miles said he and his wife, Cassie Shea Miles, had COVID in the fall and it is very serious. He also said he and Cassie have been vaccinated and had no complications.
“I encourage everyone to get vaccinated as soon as you can,” Miles said. He also said the City of West Columbia staff has coordinated with Lexington Medical Center throughout the COVID crisis.
“We’re very thankful for all the assistance Lexington Medical Center has given us.”
With the increased availability of vaccine, South Carolina moved into Phase 2 of its vaccination plan on Wednesday. Phase Two makes the vaccine available to all South Carolinians age 16 and up.
The estimated population of Phase Two is the Remaining population of the state not already vaccinated. The goal of public health officials is to vaccinate every South Carolinian who wants to receive a vaccine by this summer.
Phase 1a of the vaccination process has been initiated, as has Phase 1b. Phase 1a included the most-vulnerable of the population. Phase 1b included the vaccination of teachers and school personnel. West Columbia schools resumed five-day, in-person classes in January. The Lexington Two School District still offers a virtual option.
In every segment of the population, the COVID news seems to be positive. The Gervais Street Bridge Dinner is scheduled for May 2. Hopefully things will return to the way they were soon.
Vaccination locations in West Columbia:
- Lexington Medical Center – 2720 Sunset Blvd – (803) 739-3363
- Brookland Baptist Church – 1066 Sunset Boulevard – (803) 739-3363
- CVS Pharmacy · 2401 Sunset Blvd · (803) 796-8126
- Walgreens Pharmacy · 2224 Augusta Rd · (803) 791-3676
- Walmart Pharmacy · 2401 Augusta Rd · (803) 791-8114
- CVS Pharmacy – 1210 Charleston Hwy · (803) 739-5181