Tag Archives: Department of Health and Environmental Control

State agencies issue millions in emergency purchase orders amid covid outbreak

May 29, 2020

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By RICK BRUNDRETT The S.C. Department of Transportation initially wanted more than $1 million worth of hand sanitizer. The state Department of Administration requested 1,500 laptop computers and related equipment totaling nearly $468,000. The Department of Employment and Workforce sought an out-of-state technology firm with a reduced annual “subscription fee” of $74,371 for its services. […]

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State health agency spending relatively little from emergency covid funds

May 15, 2020

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Since lawmakers in March approved $45 million in emergency funding for the state health department’s response to the coronavirus, the agency has spent less than 10 percent of the total, records show. The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control through April listed a total of about $3.9 million in expenditures, with […]

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State agency can order quarantine of COVID-19 victims

May 6, 2020

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Among the provisions in Gov. Henry McMaster’s emergency orders is one allowing the state health department to confine people infected with the coronavirus in their homes or other private or public places. Although the provision hasn’t been enforced to date, it’s part of the 2002 Emergency Health Powers Act (EHPA). Those who […]

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Closed SC businesses in covid’s wake: Protecting public health?

April 17, 2020

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Having customers in his Columbia glass art shop posed no public threat, if you ask Tom Lockart of One Eared Cow Glass. Yet after Gov. Henry McMaster put the S.C. Department of Commerce in charge of deciding what businesses are allowed to stay open or which must close when “clarification” requests are […]

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McMaster’s ‘non-essential’ list: A hole-in-one for SC golfers – and others

April 7, 2020

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Last Tuesday, Gov. Henry McMaster ordered that “non-essential” businesses statewide be closed to the public to combat the spread of the coronavirus, though he included some pretty big loopholes. Take golfing, for example. His “non-essential” list includes various “recreational and athletic facilities,” such as fitness centers, though sports that “involve interaction” of […]

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S.C. lawmakers pressed to find money for coronavirus response

March 17, 2020

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By RICK BRUNDRETT When lawmakers return this week to debate how to pay for the state’s emergency coronavirus response, they will have to decide where exactly to get the money. In a letter Thursday to House and Senate leaders, Gov. Henry McMaster requested that lawmakers provide the state Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) […]

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Little-known S.C. panel regularly OKs requests to release sensitive information

December 14, 2018

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By RICK BRUNDRETT For at least two years, a few members of an obscure state panel have routinely approved requests by public- and private-sector researchers for sensitive information contained in a massive health “data warehouse,” records reviewed by The Nerve show. The medical records database, managed by the state Revenue and Fiscal Affairs (RFA) Office, […]

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S.C. law, contracts offer few privacy protections for huge ‘data warehouse’

August 27, 2018

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By RICK BRUNDRETT If you receive health-related services from certain state agencies, chances are you weren’t told your personal information could be included in a massive “data warehouse” that lawmakers and their staffs have been allowed access to for years. A state privacy law and inter-agency agreements for the 16-year-old database offer weak privacy protections […]

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How S.C. lawmakers might have access to your private information

July 3, 2018

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By RICK BRUNDRETT For 10 years, a proviso tucked away in the state budget has given lawmakers and multiple S.C. agencies access to a massive “data warehouse” containing personal medical records of many South Carolinians. Now, lawmakers want to launch a similar database that would track sensitive education and workforce information on children and adults […]

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