HARRISBURG, PA — Governor Tom Wolf sent a letter to Senate and House leadership and chairs of the Senate Health & Human Services Committee in response to their request seeking data on COVID-19 from the Department of Health.
“My administration is committed to transparency and we have released a historic amount of public data throughout this pandemic,” Gov. Wolf said. “I appreciate the leaders’ concerns and we will provide the General Assembly with additional data, including data by legislative district.”
The governor said the Wolf Administration will be releasing vaccination reports by legislative district so that the General Assembly and public can better understand how well each member’s district is performing.
As the voters of Pennsylvania have asked the legislature to play a greater role in the management of emergencies, the governor also urged the General Assembly to create a frequently updated dashboard to track efforts by legislative district to help encourage vaccinations.
“We must work together to stop the spread of this terrible virus; therefore, in return, I am asking the General Assembly to share this forthcoming data with their constituents, so Pennsylvanians have another resource on the impact of COVID-19 in their communities,” Gov. Wolf said. “I once again encourage all legislators to join me in urging all eligible Pennsylvanians to get vaccinated.”
The Department of Health’s COVID-19 Dashboard and Early Warning Monitoring Dashboard already provide significant state and county level case data, and the COVID-19 Vaccine Dashboard provides statewide and county-level vaccination information. The Department of Health provides updates to these data points and more daily.
The letter reads as follows:
“The Department of Health has publicly released a historic amount of data on COVID-19 details and demographics to help inform the General Assembly and the general public throughout the pandemic, and they continue to do so. We are happy to provide more information regarding your specific requests as follows:
- Case count data for individuals 0-18 years old is available, though this information will be updated weekly rather than daily.
- We are finalizing information for public release early next week on post-vaccine cases, but also for hospitalizations and deaths.
- The Department relies upon multiple experts to forecast COVID-19 metrics, many of which are compiled by the CDC. We would encourage you to utilize the CDC’s publicly available compilation of forecasting to find and monitor projected data for the weeks and months ahead.
“I very much appreciate your concern about making sure Pennsylvanians are vaccinated. Unfortunately, as you can see from the Department of Health’s data dashboard, we continue to lag significantly in many areas of the state. Sadly, this is holding us all back, and, in part, leads to having to issue school mask mandates to protect our children and keep our classrooms open as part of the broader effort to keep Pennsylvanians on the job to fuel our economic recovery.
“Together, the Vaccine Task Force has helped make Pennsylvania a national leader on vaccines. However, we need efforts from every member of the General Assembly to continue to improve vaccination outcomes. In the coming weeks, we will be releasing vaccination reports by legislative district so that the General Assembly and public can better understand how well each member’s district is performing.
“In July, I wrote the General Assembly a letter asking for help in getting individuals vaccinated. As the voters of Pennsylvania have asked the legislature to play a greater role in the management of emergencies, I am asking you to create a frequently updated dashboard to track efforts by each member of the General Assembly to help encourage vaccinations. This should include information such as how many vaccination clinics have been publicized or facilitated by each member of the legislature, what vaccination outreach has taken place through various media forums, and efforts members plan to take to educate parents and students about the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine as we anticipate its approval for younger ages in the coming months. Information to assist members in these efforts can be found on the Commonwealth’s PA Unites Against COVID website.
“Our goal should be to strive to be the best state in the country on vaccinations, and your partnership is critical. Thank you again for your interest in this vitally important effort.
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