COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina health officials say the state saw a record-high number of COVID-19 cases in the first two days of 2022.

The Department of Health and Environmental Control counted 10,629 new cases Saturday and 10,543 new cases Sunday.

Those numbers surpass the nearly 9,000 cases that previously marked the state’s highest-ever case count on New Year’s Eve.

State health officials had warned last week that cases would likely soar in January with the rise of the highly contagious omicron variant.

The state has now tallied more than a million cases since the start of the outbreak in 2020.

“In less than two years, COVID-19 has infected over 1,000,000 of our citizens and impacted the lives of all of us,” said DHEC director Dr. Edward Simmer.

“This milestone is another reminder that COVID-19 has caused one of the most severe pandemics our nation and state has ever seen, and with the Omicron variant, we unfortunately are seeing record numbers of cases.”

(From: SCDHEC)