Lancaster County Commissioner says Pa. Dept. of Health letter to child “went too far”

Lancaster

LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) — There is outrage in Lancaster County over a letter sent from the state to a child.

“Sending threatening letters that they are going to be forcibly relocated and detained if they don’t follow guidance. There just is no room for that,” Ray D’Agostino, Lancaster County Commissioner, said.

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Commissioner D’Agostino says the letter sent out by the Department of Health (DOH) went too far.

It outlines quarantine procedures for people who come into close contact with someone who is COVID positive. They went as far as saying that the DOH may petition a court to have them confined to an appropriate place if they do not follow the directive.

“This shouldn’t be sent to anyone, much less children. These letters had the names of these children,” Commissioner D’Agostino said.

The DOH says if this letter was addressed to any children specifically, that was a mistake — it’s only meant to be sent to adults. But either way, the DOH says this has all been taken out of context.

They said in a statement: “The letter in question has been used since the beginning of the pandemic (nearly 20 months) and is sent to close contacts (or their parent/guardian if a minor) with quarantine instructions only in situations where the individual is uncooperative and refuses to quarantine.

Commissioner D’Agostino doesn’t see it that way. 

“I was appalled. I think everyone in the room was appalled and thought it was egregious,” Commissioner D’Agostino said.

That’s including Republican lawmakers. The Lancaster County GOP House Delegation sent a strongly worded letter, too. Commissioner D’Agostino says this action is contrary to Governor Wolf’s statements in the past.

“It seems very contradictory to inform versus enforce. He said that repeatedly. Again, I have to believe that an apology is due to the people of the Commonwealth,” Commissioner D’Agostino added.

abc27 is told the Department of Health and Department of Education are currently re-working the letter. 

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