WMBF Investigates: The cost of fighting COVID-19 in South Carolina

WMBF Investigates: The cost of fighting COVID-19 in South Carolina
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - Out of the $45 million the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control currently has allocated toward fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly a third of it has already been spent.

According to a WMBF News review of SCDHEC expenditures related to COVID-19, as of June 1, DHEC has spent $13,374,865.71 from its Act 116 COVID-19 Response Account.

Those expenditure reports include lines for personnel, supplies, travel, capital equipment and contracts, among others.

The largest expense listed is for supplies, with a total of $8,365,620.19 spent over March, April and May.

In the beginning of May, DHEC set a goal to expand statewide testing, contact tracing and test 2% of the population that month.

Personnel expenses for DHEC nearly doubled in May, going from $78,332.80 in April to $1,369,185.80.

DHEC’s funding to fight the Coronavirus comes in part from the federal government’s CARES Act or Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act of 2020.

On April 6, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced it would provide more than $870 million in CDC Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Funding.

South Carolina received $8,926,132.50, according to HHS data.

As of DHEC’s latest report, $31,625,134.29 is left in the department’s COVID-19 Response Account.

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