A case worker with the South Carolina Department of Social Services (SCDSS) has tested positive for the 2019-2020 coronavirus, sources familiar with the situation told this news outlet on Friday. According to these sources, the employee in question works at the agency’s Lancaster county office.
“In accordance with agency protocols, this employee will not be physically reporting to work at this time,” an email to employees from Nakia Griffin, director of the Lancaster office, noted.
Really? An employee who tested positive for coronavirus isn’t going to be reporting for work?
Seems like that would have been pretty well understood …
Anyway, Griffin’s email added that “while we do not believe you were within (six feet) of the affected employee for more than (ten) minutes, out of an abundance of caution, we are making several options available to you.”
What are those options?
“You may continue to report to work as long as you do not feel sick, or you may quarantine yourself at home for a period of (fourteen) days,” Griffin wrote. “If you elect to quarantine yourself at home, you may work-from-home or use any accrued leave.”
We reached out to our sources at SCDSS, but they could not immediately confirm the report.
According to our sources, employees in the Lancaster office are furious over the lack of information they have been provided about the case.
“(The agency) is refusing to tell the others in the office who it is and what days they were there,” one source told us.
Last month – as the coronavirus shutdown was ramping up – this news outlet filed a lengthy report detailing how SCDSS was handling its workforce during the pandemic. In that report, we referenced a tweet from agency director Michael Leach which highlighted some of the essential functions performed by his agency.
Leach tweeted that despite the pandemic, “there is still child abuse” and “vulnerable adults that need assistance” as well as children and youth in foster care and individuals who need benefits for themselves and their children.
“If functions cease, Covid-19 is not the only harm our citizens face,” he added.
That much is certainly true …
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