Letter to the editor: Westmoreland needs a health department

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I ask myself, “Why are the residents of Westmoreland County less worthy than the residents of Allegheny, Erie, Bucks, Chester, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties?” Why do Westmoreland County residents not have the benefit of a critically needed public health department? Allegheny County and Erie County both have had health departments since the mid-1950s.

Many residents are outraged to realize that Westmoreland County has no public health department. Last month, the county commissioners voted against establishing one (“Commissioners dash calls for Westmoreland health department, trumpet broadband upgrade,” Feb. 18, TribLIVE). It is unthinkable that during a deadly public health crisis such as covid-19 that the commissioners would reject establishing a public health department.

Westmoreland residents have been struggling to locate vaccine appointments. Many have traveled to other counties or other states to obtain the vaccine. Westmoreland residents have been left out in the cold by their elected officials.

This is not a political decision, nor should it ever be one; this is a public health decision. It also is an economic decision to save businesses, jobs and the economy of our area. I implore the Westmoreland County commissioners to reevaluate their decision. Begin the establishment of a Westmoreland County health department now!

Mary Hofford

Irwin

Categories:
Letters to the Editor | Opinion

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