COVID-19 Strikes Whitten Center
14% INFECTED: For several weeks, social media postings have said Whitten Center employees were working 16 - 24 hr shifts as some workers called out sick bc of COVID-19 - today SC Disabilities confirms outbreak at Clinton facility.
The deputy director of the SC Department of Disabilities and Special Needs said the Whitten Center staff should be recognized as heroes.
Statement: As you are aware, the state and the country are experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases. Whitten has been very fortunate to have only a few COVID-19 infections until recently. However, the contagious COVID-19 virus has infected 36 consumers and 47 staff, which represents about 14% of the campus's total consumers and staff. DDSN's Pee Dee Regional Center in Florence experienced a similar surge in infections in April, which has been reduced to zero infections last week. Whitten is using the same fundamental infection control protocols to control its current surge in cases. The Whitten staff has responded to cover shifts for those staff testing positive for COVID-19. DDSN will be surging resources from other regional centers as needed. There is no shortage of personal protective equipment (OPPE). As the front line of defense for COVID-19 during this national emergency, Whitten healthcare workers will continue to care for some of the state's most vulnerable citizens despite the current surge in cases. I ask you to recognize Whitten staff as the heroes they are, as well as thank the continued support Whitten has received from families and the publuc during this unique time."
-- SCDDSN Deputy Director Pat Maley.
Whitten Center, on Hwy 76 East near Clinton, "provides 24 hour residential care, supervision, and treatment to SCDSSN's most fragile consumers, those individuals with more complex, severe disabilities. Center care is generally recommended only when all other appropriate community services are not available," the center's website says.