Whitten Center Central Square in Laurens Co. cited for 2 DHEC guideline violations

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LAURENS COUNTY, SC (WSPA) – An Upstate special needs facility was cited for violation of two South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control guidelines.

According to a spokeswoman with the South Carolina Emergency Response Team, the Whitten Center has two intermediate care facilities for people with intellectual disabilities that are licensed by DHEC — the Whitten Center Campus and Whitten Center Central Square.

The spokeswoman told 7 News on June 30 that DHEC officials conducted an investigation of both facilities, as well as an infection control inspection at Whitten Center Central Square.

Following the inspection, DHEC cited the Whitten Center Central Square for two violations — Not having policies and procedures and not actively screening visitors and personnel.

According to the SC Carolina Emergency Response Team spokeswoman, the Whitten Center Central Square is “required to submit an acceptable plan of corrections for the cited violations, including preventive and corrective actions being taken. DHEC will provide the inspection and investigation reports once they are completed.”

After 7 News Anchor Amy Wood asked for COVID-19 case numbers at the Whitten Center, and could not locate them on the facility lists provided by DHEC, the numbers were added for the first time Friday. While the website says there are 14 staff members infected and one staff member has died, 7 News has obtained a memo from state officials disclosing more than 80 infections of COVID-19 between the staff and the residents, or consumers, as the facility calls them. DHEC’s cumulative list and it’s last 30 days list, offer updates on facilities in the state that have a confirmed case or death.

Update (7/4): Deputy Director Patrick Maley confirmed to 7 News that a resident of the facility has also died.

The spokeswoman for S.C. State Emergency Response Team said they update those lists twice weekly on Tuesdays and Fridays. She said only until cases are confirmed will they be reflected on the lists.

Amy Wood is continuing to work the story. Watch her report on Facebook by clicking here.

For more information, click here.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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