Two South Carolina senators are calling on the governor to name a COVID-19 logistics director for the state.

S.C. Sen. Stephen Goldfinch, R-Georgetown, and S.C. Sen. Nikki Setzler, D-Lexington, wrote a letter to S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster, urging him to name Maj. Gen. Bob Livingston as the state COVID-19 logistics director.

Today Senator Goldfinch and I urged Governor McMaster to make General Bob Livingston head of logistics for our vaccine distribution process here in South Carolina.

We have no time to waste, and we need a leader with proven experience. General Livingston is the man for the job. pic.twitter.com/fMGH5k0FDr

— Nikki Setzler (@NikkiSetzler) January 22, 2021

In this position, Livingston would develop and coordinate the logistics of receipt, distribution and injection of the COVID-19 vaccine to South Carolinians. Goldfinch said these are unprecedented times and it’s crucial to have someone at the head of the effort.

“(Livingston) has the relationships, he has the logistical skills, he’s run the National Guard before as the adjutant general,” Goldfinch said. “I think he’s the perfect fit.”

Goldfinch also said a number of other senators expressed support to him regarding the letter. S.C. Rep. Bill Taylor, R-Aiken, said he definitely supports the cause.

“It is critical to ensure the COVID vaccine distribution in South Carolina is maximized and delivered as swiftly as possible,” Taylor said. “I enthusiastically endorse naming Gen. Livingston to coordinate all logistics and bring together the various agencies to solve this complex effort. He knows how to get the job done and will expedite the vaccine to those who want it.”

As of Jan. 21, South Carolina has received 424,950 total doses of COVID-19 vaccine and has administered 211,789 of those. There are currently 269,856 vaccine appointments scheduled throughout the state. Aiken Regional Medical Centers has received 1,445 doses of the Pfizer vaccine and has administered 1,361 of them.

South Carolina health authorities confirmed 113 COVID-19 cases and two coronavirus-related deaths, as well as a probable coronavirus-related death, in Aiken County on Friday.

One of the confirmed deaths was an elderly patient and occurred on Jan. 20. The second death was a middle-aged patient and the date of death is under investigation. The probable death occurred on Jan. 19 in an elderly person.

The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control confirmed a total of 3,528 cases and 23 deaths across the state Friday.

The data reported Friday is for the date of Jan. 20.

Friday’s report brings the total confirmed number of COVID-19 cases in Aiken County to 9,869, with 138 coronavirus-related deaths.

Aiken County also has reported a total of 1,835 probable COVID-19 cases and 24 probable coronavirus-related deaths.

In neighboring Barnwell and Edgefield counties, eight and 29 virus cases were confirmed, respectively, on Friday.

According to DHEC’s acute hospital bed occupancy report, Aiken County hospitals are at 87.1% occupancy. There are 135 beds occupied, while there are 20 beds open. Across the entire state, there are 2,293 COVID-19 patients hospitalized.

The total number of individual test results reported to DHEC statewide Friday was 12,418, and the percent positive was 28.4%.

The total number of cases statewide is now 369,782, with 39,406 probable cases, 5,791 confirmed deaths and 613 probable deaths.

A free COVID-19 event will be held from 7:30-11 a.m. today at the Clyburn Center for Primary Care, 1000 Clyburn Place. Pre-registration is recommended but not mandatory. For more information or to pre-register, visit ruralhs.org.




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