While most people are tired of hearing about Covid-19, an uptick in summer cases means it’s time for a reminder on how to protect yourself and others from infection.

Globally, more than 1 million new Covid-19 cases and more than 3,100 deaths were reported in the four weeks up to Aug. 3, according to the latest World Health Organization report. That brought the death toll to almost 7 million since the pandemic began. In the United States, about 9,000 people were hospitalized for Covid in the last week, roughly a 12% increase over the week before.

Monitoring where and how much the virus is spreading has become significantly more difficult since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stopped tracking cases in May, coinciding with the end of the federal public health emergency. The two best metrics to monitor local infection levels are hospitalization rates and wastewater data, according to health experts. Both are still tracked by the CDC.

Rapid tests are still effective for all of the variants that are circulating, and if you test positive, you can trust that you’re infected, according to the National Library of Medicine. If you have symptoms but get a negative result, wait two days and test again. This is so-called serial testing in which you test multiple times over the course of several days. It reportedly is more than 90% effective at detecting a symptomatic infection.

In other recent headlines:

CP NEWS: Charleston-area candidates file for November electionElection season is now in full swing as the candidate filing period for Lowcountry offices opened Aug. 7.  Eight candidates filed as of yesterday for mayor in North Charleston; incumbent John Tecklenburg filed in Charleston.

WINNER-WINNER CHICKEN DINNER:  Single ticket in Florida wins $1.58B Mega Millions JackpotA single winning ticket was sold in Florida for one of the largest lottery prizes in U.S. history, a Mega Millions jackpot of $1.58 billion, the company said early Wednesday. The company did not identify the owner of the winning ticket.

Judge denies Murdaugh’s attempt to rescind confession, attorney saysS.C. Circuit Court Judge Bentley Price denied convicted murderer Alex Murdaugh’s motion to rescind confessions he made regarding details surrounding the Murdaugh family’s former housekeeper Gloria Satterfield’s death.

Zoning board halts sand mine near Charleston Co. schoolBlessing Investments has hoped to spend the next two years extracting shell sand from a 20-acre watery pit between Old Georgetown Road and U.S. Highway 17, but its plans were paused.

Charleston traffic office to hear public concerns on road safety. The city of Charleston Traffic and Transportation Committee will meet Wednesday, giving the public an opportunity to address safety concerns on some of the city’s busiest roads.

New hotel, residential buildings going up downtown. The city’s Board of Architectural Review is scheduled to meet Wednesday to discuss ongoing plans for construction in the Ansonborough neighborhood.

Charleston eyeing high-tech approach to old-fashioned attraction. The City of Charleston is looking at an electric-powered horseless carriage to keep the old-fashioned colonial vibe, without the nuisance and environmental concerns of live horses.

St. George’s Rosenwald School to be preserved. A segregation-era school in Dorchester County is set to be preserved as a historical site.

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