The Covid Report

Covid Recovery: South Carolina is nation's 3rd Slowest.




With the unemployment rate at 5.2% and around 53% of the population fully vaccinated, the personal-finance website WalletHub has released updated rankings for the States That Are Recovering the Quickest From COVID-19,

To identify the states that are having the most successful recoveries, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 17 key metrics. Our data set ranges from the share of the population fully vaccinated to the real GDP vs. pre-COVID levels.

Recovery from COVID-19 in South Carolina (1=Quickest, 25=Avg.):

  • 41st – Share of Population Fully Vaccinated
  • 44th – Share of Vaccine Supply Used
  • 48th – COVID-19 Death Rate
  • 39th – COVID-19 Hospitalization Rate
  • 44th – Share of Hospitals with Staff Shortages
  • 48th – Share of Hospitals with Supply Shortages
  • 33rd – Real GDP vs. Pre-COVID Levels
  • 40th – Unemployment Rate vs. Pre-COVID Levels
  • 35th – Total Weekly Job Postings vs. Pre-COVID Levels

Rankings are based on data available as of 12:30 p.m. ET on September 7, 2021.

For the full report, please visit:

Q&A with WalletHub 

How does a state’s public health recovery impact its economic recovery?

“A state’s public health recovery is essential for its economic recovery. The biggest factors hurting the economy are restrictions on businesses and high unemployment, both of which are a direct result of necessary public health measures put in place to curb the pandemic,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “As COVID-19 cases and deaths decline in a state, the government can loosen restrictions and businesses can hire more as a result. Prioritizing vaccination will speed up the country’s public health recovery, which in turn will accelerate the economic recovery.”

Why are some states able to recover from the pandemic a lot faster than others?

“There are many reasons why some states are able to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic faster than others, some of which are that certain states have done a better job of minimizing COVID-19 transmission and have vaccinated residents at higher rates,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “A state’s climate can have a big impact on its recovery, too. States that are warmer, like Florida, allow people to be outside more easily, which gives extra protection to the elderly and other vulnerable demographics. This has led to an economic boom for warmer states, and as people consider where to relocate after the pandemic, climate and tax rates will be among the biggest factors in their decisions.”

Why does South Dakota rank as having the quickest recovery from COVID-19?

“South Dakota ranks as having the quickest recovery from COVID-19 in part because it is one of only two states in the country whose unemployment rates have decreased between June 2019 and June 2021,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “South Dakota is one of only seven states in which no hospitals reported having supply shortages in the past week, too, and it has one of the lowest shares of COVID-related doctor visits in the past week.”

Why does Louisiana rank as having the slowest recovery from COVID-19?

“Louisiana ranks as having the slowest recovery from COVID-19 in part because it has some of the highest COVID-19 death and hospitalization rates in the country,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “Louisiana ranks as the 4th highest when it comes to the share of hospitals reporting staff shortages and has one of the lowest shares of residents ages 12 and up who are fully vaccinated.”


DHEC Director, SC Governor Encourage Use of Monoclonal Antibodies for COVID-19 Treatment

Now Available at Over 50 Healthcare Providers Across the State


COLUMBIA – Given the rise of COVID-19 cases in South Carolina and the ongoing threat of the Delta variant, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) and Governor Henry McMaster are encouraging residents to learn more about the use and availability of monoclonal antibodies, a treatment proven to be effective in staving off serious illness from COVID-19.

“Beyond a shadow of a doubt, the most effective way to protect ourselves and our loved ones from COVID-19 is to make the decision to get vaccinated,” McMaster said. “We’ve also seen that the use of these antibody treatments can greatly reduce the risk of hospitalization and severe illness in those who test positive. These treatments are now available at over 50 healthcare providers across the state, and we’re working to expand access to them every day. We continue to strongly encourage South Carolinians to educate themselves about all of their options and talk to their doctor about what’s best for them.”

“DHEC recommendations on COVID-19 vaccinations and masking have not changed: we still urge the usage of both and believe they are the best ways to get us out of this pandemic,” said Dr. Edward Simmer, DHEC Director. “That said, it is important that South Carolinians know about all available resources to keep them safe. Monoclonal antibodies are safe and effective, and our state has several locations where residents can receive them.”

Monoclonal antibodies are a type of treatment doctors have been using for COVID-19 patients since November 2020, when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued Emergency Use Authorizations (EUA) for treatments. One antibody, bamlanivimab, cannot be used by itself but can be used when combined with estesevimab to achieve the desired level of effectiveness. The other currently authorized monoclonal antibody treatments are casirivimab plus imdevimab, (REGEN-COV), and sotrovimab. These antibodies work by directly blocking the effect of the COVID-19 virus in patients that are already infected.

Treatment using these antibodies must be authorized and ordered by a doctor or medical provider. Those eligible to receive the treatment are at-risk individuals ages 12 and older who test positive for COVID-19 and exhibit mild to moderate symptoms that began within the last 10 days.  In addition, individuals with COVID-19 are not eligible for the treatment if they have been or are currently hospitalized or have received oxygen to assist with normal breathing.

DHEC is working with providers to expand treatment locations, including to areas where there currently are no providers. As of Sept. 1, 2021, more than 16,000 COVID-19 patients in South Carolina have been treated with monoclonal antibodies. It is estimated that this treatment has prevented nearly 2,000 hospitalizations and 200 deaths.

DHEC’s webpage on monoclonal antibodies includes facts on the treatment and a map of treatment locations across the state. The DHEC website provides additional information on COVID-19 and where to get vaccinated.





With 93% of unvaccinated adults saying they don’t ever plan to get the COID-19 vaccine, the personal-finance website WalletHub today released its report on 2021’s States that Vaccinate the Most, as well as accompanying videos and expert commentary.

In order to find out which states vaccinate most, WalletHub analyzed the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 17 key metrics, ranging from share of vaccinated children to share of people without health insurance to flu vaccination rate among adults.

Vaccination in South Carolina (1=Best; 25=Avg.):

  • 31st – Influenza Vaccination Rate in Children Aged 6 Months to 17 Years Old
  • 31st – Share of Teenagers Aged 13-17 with Up-To-Date HPV Vaccination
  • 34th – Share of Teenagers Aged 13-17 with MenACWY Vaccination
  • 34th – Flu Vaccination Coverage Rate Among Adults
  • 36th – Share of Adults with Tetanus Vaccination
  • 41st – Share of Adults Aged 60 and Older with Zoster Vaccination
  • 27th – Share of Children 19-35 Months old Living in Poverty with Combined 7-Vaccine Series
  • 41st – Share of Civilian Noninstitutionalized Population without Health Insurance Coverage
  • 30th – Share of Children Under 6 Years Old Participating in an Immunization Information System

For the full report, please visit:  


Expert Commentary


What are the steps local authorities can take in order to counter the current anti-vaccination trend?


“I would like to see investments in expanded infrastructure that will live on past the pandemic to support work related to infectious diseases. Considering the current circumstances, we need to ensure that the general public understands that many hospitals now lack ICU beds, so individual liberties and expression of autonomy, specifically to refuse vaccination, have consequences that can affect other health outcomes, such as the inability to access the emergency departments, cancellation of elective surgeries, etc. There is opportunity to develop meaningful partnerships with groups that have the trust of local communities, for example: schools, churches, youth centers, and so on. With these relationships, we can then deliver public health messaging through trusted partners in familiar spaces.”

Henna Budhwani, Ph.D., MPH – Assistant Professor, University of Alabama at Birmingham


“Local authorities must provide up-to-date guidance on vaccine access, safety, efficacy, and promote this information in a cultural context that people understand, including individuals who have English as a second language. Local officials can provide briefings on up-to-the-minute information from the FDA/CDC regarding vaccines. They can pass out flyers and have radio spots debunking pervasive myths about vaccine efficacy and vaccine safety.”

Donald J. Alcendor, Ph.D. – Assistant Professor, Meharry Medical College; Adjunct Associate Professor, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine


Is the introduction of a ‘No jab, No school’ policy that requires mandatory vaccination at school entry necessary in the U.S.?


“I am in favor of adding the COVID vaccine, once it is fully approved for children, to the long list of required school vaccines. We have many vaccines that are required in the United States for children to attend schools. We know that requiring vaccines for school-aged children is the best way to achieve public health goals around communicable diseases.”

Brian S. Krueger – Associate Dean & Professor, University of Rhode Island


“I think it may become necessary and only time will tell. The continual rise in the number of kids testing positive for COVID-19 and the increase in pediatric hospitalizations and deaths could be a deciding factor. Currently, kids that attend public school must be current on scheduled vaccinations, and I predict that the COVID-19 vaccine in the future may be as common as the MMR vaccine for measles, mumps, and rubella that is mandated in public schools with some exemptions.”

Donald J. Alcendor, Ph.D. – Assistant Professor, Meharry Medical College; Adjunct Associate Professor, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine


What are the challenges of the vaccine rollout in 2021?


“Misinformation online is a leading concern…Access is still an issue, as the Internet is often needed to sign up for the vaccine and not all communities have good internet access, or the skills needed to navigate these systems. Additionally, easy to get vaccination sites/locations are not available to all members of society and transportation is not always available or reliable.”

Brian S. Krueger – Associate Dean & Professor, University of Rhode Island


“The challenges are many. The COVID-19 pandemic is still considered a hoax by many...The vaccines were highly politicized and devalued on a large scale because they were perceived by the public as being developed too quickly. The development and rise in breakthrough or post-vaccination infection have eroded vaccine confidence over time. The continual development of variants that suggest that the vaccines are less effective is another barrier to vaccine uptake among vaccine-hesitant and resistant populations. We have prominent members of our communities that are considered trusted messengers making false claims to the efficacy and safety of the vaccines. Finally, there has never been a comprehensive national campaign to promote the COVID-19 vaccines in the U.S.”

Donald J. Alcendor, Ph.D. – Assistant Professor, Meharry Medical College; Adjunct Associate Professor, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine



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