Meck County leaders finally answer “glitch” text questions on-camera

Meck County says COVID-19 text glitch won't happen again

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Mecklenburg County health leaders say an inadvertent text message that told residents they tested positive for COVID-19 won’t happen again.

WBTV requested an interview with county leaders about the glitch text message but it wasn’t until a couple of weeks after it happened that the county finally answered questions from reporters on-camera about the incident.

A text message that said it was from Mecklenburg County told more than 6,000 residents they tested positive for COVID-19.

A letter sent to commissioners form the software company Health Space, which was responsible for the text message, never mentioned anything about the safety of resident’s information.

“In what way did this tech company promise that no information had been compromised and how can you guarantee that to residents?” a WBTV reporter asked Mecklenburg County Public Health Director Gibbie Harris

Harris said that everyone who was sent a text message was already in the county’s system either because they had been tested or were linked to someone who had been tested.

She also said the link in the text didn’t ask for personal information.

“There was no personal information that was asked for on the site so we feel very comfortable that no personal information was shared,” Harris said

WBTV also asked Harris why the county originally called the text message a scam but later admitted it was a glitch from Health Space.

“Unfortunately, at the same time, most of our county systems were down so we didn’t know exactly what the situation was and we had to treat it very carefully,” Harris said

Harris also said Health Space has taken several steps to make the county more comfortable in knowing this won’t happen again.

“They have disabled all text and email capacity in that portion of the system, the language that was included in the text and emails was deleted from the system completely,” Harris said.

WBTV also reached out to Health Space leaders for an interview but they did not respond.

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