MUSC COVID-19 Epidemiology Intelligence Project Lancaster

COVID-19 Status Summary for the Lancaster metropolitan area (Lancaster and Chester Counties)

View information for the Florence area (Florence, Marion, Darlington, and Williamsburg Counties)

View information for the Charleston metropolitan area (Charleston, Berkeley, and Dorchester Counties)

View information for the Midlands area (Kershaw, Fairfield, and Richland Counties)

Updated 10/25/2021 | About This Project

Click here for a description of the Methods and Metrics:


COVID-19 Variants Based on Genetic Sequencing Conducted by the MUSC Molecular Pathology Laboratory. All Positive COVID-19 Tests are sequenced, and the Red and Yellow are Variants of Concern.


Click here for the latest information on Covid-19 Variants of Interest:


MUSC COVID-19 Situation Assessment 

Click here for a description of the Methods and Metrics:

Metric Status as of October 20th
Weekly Change of Reported COVID-19 Infections
GREEN: -22%
Trajectory of documented cases (Increasing or Decreasing)
 Number of Reported COVID-19 cases in last week
RED: 265 cases reported week of
(Oct. 12th – Oct. 18th)
Diagnostic Availability Testing
Return of Diagnostic Test Results
Hospital Capacity to treat Critical Patients
Super spreader events and congregant facility outbreaks

Key Findings:

*Key Findings are based on results from Wednesday, October 13th - Tuesday, October 19th, 2021.

Virtually all cases in the area are now from the Delta variant (originally identified in India). The Delta variant is between 50% - 60% more transmissible than the last version of the virus. Prior variants typically required 15-minutes of contact to transmit. With the Delta variant transmission has been documented to occur in as short as 10-seconds of contact. Those with Delta variant infections have been shown to harbor 1000-times the level of virus as with prior variants. People who are not vaccinated currently have an extremely high risk of catching and transmitting the Delta variant to others. Vaccination is the most potent and durable way to protect yourself from COVID-19, including the Delta variant.
Currently, there is adequate capacity to manage the case load of COVID-19 admissions in area hospitals.        
This week the 7-day average of new infections decreased 28%. Those without immunity from vaccination or a recent infection (past 7-months) are still at risk. It is important to maintain sustained vigilance in practicing behavioral prevention such as wearing masks, keeping a distance from others, avoiding indoor gatherings, and good hand hygiene.       
The current number of infections diagnosed each day for every 100,000 people (7-day rolling average) is 29. It is estimated that the number of infections occurring among those who have not been vaccinated or had a recent infection is 80 cases per 100,000 people.
 This past week there were 265 cases in the past week.  
There are an estimated 593 active infections diagnosed by lab testing. These people can infect other people. It is estimated that approximately 4 times the number of diagnosed cases go undiagnosed, yielding over 2,900 active cases in the area combining diagnosed and undiagnosed. 
Most undiagnosed people who are infected will not be aware they carry the virus and can infect others. The time between becoming infected and having symptoms averages 5-days, and this is a period when a person is typically highly infectious. The risk of infection from people with no symptoms, or mild symptoms, is the greatest single threat to members of the community. Do not assume that a lack of symptoms in people you encounter means that they cannot transmit the COVID-19 virus to you.
Across large areas of the United States there is a significant surge in COVID-19 cases occurring, especially in areas with low vaccination rates. In these areas with extremely high infection rates the Delta variant is predominant. This variant is much more transmissible than prior variants. Vaccination is highly effective against the Delta variant.  
The community is advised to develop an evidence-based risk mitigation plan that is specific to personal risk. Those vaccinated or who have recovered from a recent infection have low risk of acquiring or transmitting COVID-19. Be aware that many people mistakenly believe that they have been infected with COVID-19 earlier. Unvaccinated people need to continue to practice prevention behaviors to avoid infection. 
After vaccination it is important to continue to practice prevention practices. There are two well-known features of the vaccines for COVID-19: (1) they are not instantaneously effective and (2) one dose does not provide protection sufficient to allow immunized individuals to consider themselves immune from COVID, even after two weeks have elapsed. If you have symptoms of COVID-19 after getting immunized, it is still very possible that you acquired COVID-19, and you should self-isolate and immediately seek tested. If you have had your first vaccine dose, make sure to get your second one scheduled.  
Scientific evidence is strong for the effectiveness of several risk mitigation behaviors: (1) wear a mask when around others, and avoid neck gaiters and vented masks, (2) keep a distance of no-less than 6-feet from others, more is better (3) avoid crowds, (4) wash hands frequently, (5) favor gathering with people outside over inside, and open windows (even a few inches helps) when feasible with others while inside, and (6) wear a mask and crack windows when you must travel with others in a vehicle. 
There is strong evidence that transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19 is occurring via aerosols. Aerosols are very small liquid particles that are breathed out when people speak, and they can float in the air like smoke for hours. Loud talking, singing, and heavy breathing from exercise generate a significant volume of aerosol particles. As a result, indoor gatherings are risky, especially when turnover of the air is infrequent. Aerosol transmission can occur at much greater distances than 6-feet. People should assume that there is no safe distance from others indoors in poorly ventilated rooms. Multiple high-quality studies have identified indoor visits to restaurants and bars as one of the most common modes of infection.  
There are currently few delays in getting appointments for COVID-19 diagnostic testing, and results are being returned quickly. An exception is prior to holidays. If you plan to be tested prior to holidays be aware that delays in getting appointments and return of results may occur.

COVID-19 Projections for South Carolina

Modeling from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) shows projections for South Carolina.

COVID-19 Projections for the MUSC Lancaster Medical Center

We are in the process of developing a hospital impact model, that will provide analysis of patients seeking care at MUSC Lancaster Medical Center over time for the current stage of the pandemic. Results will be updated as soon as they are available.