The director of South Carolina’s public health agency warns its laboratories are “functionally obsolete” and need to be upgraded soon in order to keep pace with emerging disease threats.
Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) director Catherine Heigel made the comments last week while testifying before a state House Legislative Oversight Committee hearing. “We have facilities that are well beyond their useful life,” she said during her update. “And we need to make investments in that.”
A 2016 assessment of the agency’s Bureau of Laboratories labs by the Association of Public Health Laboratories stated that the lab “has exceeded its useful life for testing capacity and safety.”