Two South Carolina children dead from COVID-19 this month, coroner confirms

AIKEN COUNTY, S.C. — At least two children in South Carolina have died of COVID-19 this month as schools report thousands of cases among students and staff.

Aiken County Public Schools had previously announced the deaths of two students, one in fourth grade and another in 10th grade. The school board was set for a special meeting Tuesday evening to discuss the district’s COVID-19 response in light of the deaths.

A 9-year-old and a 15-year-old died from the virus on Sept. 1, Aiken County Coroner Darryl Ables confirmed to the Associated Press.

The state’s current surge spurred by the highly contagious delta variant continues to infect more children and younger people, and affect them more severely, than earlier in the pandemic.

People between the ages of 11 and 20 make up the state’s largest share of COVID-19 cases in the past two weeks, at more than 23%. Children 10 and younger are the second largest group, with more than 15% of cases.

Cases are still rising in South Carolina, trending toward the record-high peak not seen since January before vaccines were readily available to the public.

The state Department of Health and Environmental Control recorded more than 20,000 COVID-19 cases over Labor Day weekend, averaging more than 5,000 cases a day between Thursday and Sunday.

Health officials counted 149 confirmed deaths and another 43 probable deaths over the four-day period, bringing the state’s total COVID-19 death toll to nearly 11,000.

As of last week, 4,076 students and 398 staff across South Carolina schools had contracted the coronavirus since the start of the academic year.

(WATCH BELOW: CDC recommends masks be worn in schools regardless of vaccination status)

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