Governor Wolf hints at Pennsylvania ‘goin’ green’

Pennsylvania

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — For the first time, Pennsylvania will release its criteria for counties to enter the green phase in a Friday press conference, ABC27 has learned.

The state may actually go further and name a few counties that can move from yellow to green, Gov. Tom Wolf hinted in a press call Thursday afternoon.

“I’ll be announcing a whole range of counties tomorrow moving from red to yellow and the hope is we might even be moving from yellow to green tomorrow,” Wolf said.

Thus far, the state has only announced the shutting down of counties across the state and then the movement from red to yellow for the 49 of 67 counties. It has not addressed moving to green, or unrestricted. That ends Friday.

But nursing home providers are seeing nothing but red after the state publicly released Covid-19 case data earlier this week and named specific personal care and long term care facilities.

“Minutes after the data was finalized and published for the public, it became clear it contained inconsistent, inaccurate, and blatantly incorrect information about many providers,” said Zach Shamberg, President of Pennsylvania Health Care Association.

The organization represents numerous facilities and is demanding the state take down its public health website until it’s corrected.

The problem, Shamberg said, is that the facilities were trying to build trust with the family members of residents who have not been able to visit since the pandemic began. The facilities were initially providing case data to loved ones.

The state database, in many instances, publicly released incorrect data that was inflated.

“That trust was broken and it’s almost impossible to get it back,” Shamberg said.

Pennsylvania Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine acknowledged the problem in Thursday’s press conference. “Any errors will be corrected,” she said.

Levine noted that it’s incumbent upon facilities to self-report statistics, but pledged to get it right.

“To date, not all the facilities have been sending us that data although it was only requested Sunday,” she said. “When we get the full report we will be putting that out.”

Shamberg said his organization will happily cooperate with the Department of Health, but he isn’t sure that’s really the problem.

“Facilities were reporting to several different databases already,” he said. “It really begs the question, what is the state doing with all the information that facilities have been reporting?”

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