COLUMBIA, S.C. (WMBF) – The South Carolina Association of Counties sent a letter to Gov. Henry McMaster, asking him to provide information on the location of coronavirus patients.
The letter states that the information is important for first responders who are the “boots on the ground” during the COVID-19 fight.
The organization requests the governor’s assistance in implementing two public safety actions.
The first one asks McMaster to authorize that a designated emergency management official in each county be informed of the location of infected people.
“DHEC appears to interpret state law as prohibiting the release of location information of infected persons to key county officials,” the letter stated. “This means our first responders are ‘flying blind’ when responding to emergency situations.”
The second public safety action is to allow first responders to be given priority for testing of the COVID-19 virus. Currently, there is no statewide procedure in place to ensure testing for first responders who come in contact with coronavirus patients.
“The ability to have personnel able to respond to this emergency is critical. Without these directives it is likely that counties will quickly run short of emergency workers, exacerbating an already dangerous medical crisis,” the letter stated.
It’s not clear when the governor will respond to the letter.