There are currently 99 patients admitted to University Hospital for treatment of Covid-19.
That’s the first time the number of cases has dropped beneath 100 since January 5.
As many as 167 were hospitalized there with Covid-19 during the height of the pandemic last year.
The number of inpatient cases dropped to 17 in mid-November before the Omicron variant caused a spike in new cases. As many as 147 patients were admitted to University Hospital in late January with cases slowly declining.
Lane Closures on I-20
Expect some slow-going traffic today on I-20 at the state line.
There will be rolling lane closures that started this morning while Department of Transportation crews do striping work, affecting travel in both directions until later this afternoon.
Both the left and right lanes, as well as the shoulder of I-20 east and westbound may be impacted, so drivers should expect delays.
Today’s work is part of the Savannah River Bridge project. I-20 is being widened from four to six lanes, and the bridges over the Savannah River and Augusta Canal are being replaced.
Bond Denied for Burke County Man
Bond was denied Thursday for a Burke County man who was named a person of interest in the case of a Pageland, South Carolina woman’s disappearance last year.
Currently, Emanuel Bedford is in custody charged with grand larceny and obstruction of justice in connection with the disappearance of Deidre Annette Reid in September.
She was reported missing when her family wasn’t able to reach her after Reid said she was taking Bedford to the bus station in Charlotte. Reid’s car was found in Aiken County, but she has still never been found.
Authorities say more evidence and additional charges against Bedford are expected soon.
Mother Sentenced For Role in Crime
The mother of a woman serving a life sentence for murder has been sentenced for her role in the crime.
Virginia Wolfe Reynolds, mother of Blaeke Wolfe, was given ten years’ probation after pleading guilty to concealing a death.
Blaeke Wolfe and Devin Stringfield are both serving life for the murder of Drew Cato, with whom Blaeke Wolfe shared a child.
Cato’s body was found in McCormick County several weeks after he went missing in May of 2018. Virginia Wolfe Reynolds will go to prison if she violates any of the terms of her probation.
Pet Adoption Special - Aiken County
If you’ve been thinking about getting a pet, the Aiken County Animal Shelter is offering a “sweet” deal for Valentine’s Day.
The adoption fee this Saturday, February 12, will be just $14 from 11:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. The cost includes spay or neuter, microchip and a rabies vaccine.
Friends of the Animal Shelter is also asking the community for donations of dog and cat food. They’ll hold a drive-thru drop-off food drive Saturday morning from 9:30 to 11:00 a.m.
The Aiken County Animal Shelter is at 333 Wire Road in Aiken.
Hiring Bonuses for Some Aiken County Schools
Hiring bonuses are now being offered at certain schools in Aiken County as the system continues to deal with staffing shortages.
Sign-on bonuses of $2,500 will be offered to new teachers at eight schools in the county, where officials say it’s harder to find qualified instructors.
They’re also offering $2,500 bonuses to any new special education teachers, speech pathologists, school psychologists and middle and high school math teachers.