CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - A review of state credit card expenses revealed a string of lunch charges in DHEC’s spending records.
The charges started back in July of last year and steadily increased month after month.
The expenses were for restaurants such as Tropical Smoothie Cafe, East Bay Deli, Cracker Barrel and Mellow Mushroom.
It turns out the meals were for laboratory workers.
A Department of Health and Environmental Control spokesperson said Public Health Laboratory workers have been so busy testing an increasing number of COVID-19 specimens, they’re been working around the clock.
On many days, “these personnel are unable to leave their work stations due to the volume of tests to be processed,” the spokesperson said.
And under state emergency operation rules, meals may be provided to state employees required to work during emergencies if they can’t leave their stations.
The total expenses from June through January was $41,750.72.
DHEC says their workload, and a quick meal brought to them, has helped make sure “sample processing continued uninterrupted.”
According to DHEC, South Carolina has had 428,684 confirmed COVID-19 cases as of Tuesday, and 61,769 probable cases.
The state’s COVID-19 death toll has reached 7,196 people.
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