The Greenville News recently included IMPH and DHEC’s COVID-19 data brief in its daily coronavirus news roundup.

Health officials release 2020 pandemic report: The South Carolina Institute of Medicine & Public health and the state's Department of Health and Environmental Control announced its 2020 COVID-19 report.

December was South Carolina's worst month in terms of positivity and new cases. Hospitalizations were also rising at the end of the year.

"Hospital systems are designed to handle predictable levels of disease in a population, not pandemics. Challenging hospital capacity can have grim consequences in health outcomes; as health care workers are pushed to their limits and resources are overwhelmed, rationing decisions may be made and quality of care may be affected," the report said.

Pickens County had the highest rate of cases in 2020 overall, and Greenville and Spartanburg counties led the state with the most deaths, 524 and 406 deaths in 2020 respectively.

The report warned that the new variant, B.1.1.7, was up to 56% more infectious, but as vaccine production and distribution ramps up, cases and deaths are expected to decline in the coming months. Read more from the Greenville News, here.