Pennsylvania’s Health Disparity Task Force is calling for health care organizations to include race and ethnicity data when reporting COVID-19 test results to the state. The task force, formally announced on April 15, is designed to foster health care equality for minorities.
In a call with reporters, Gov. Tom Wolf said state Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine mandated that racial and ethnic demographics be included in COVID-19 test results, but 69% of race data is still unreported and there is little to no data when it comes to ethnicity.
“One of the problems we have is that we have heard how COVID-19 is hitting minority populations, in particular African-Americans, hardest across the United States and anecdotally in Pennsylvania, but we lack the statistics needed to determine the severity of this issue here,” Wolf said
Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, who organized the task force with Gov. Wolf, said the task force has held three meetings since its formal announcement on April 15.“Our biggest concerns heard from these communities are improving data collection and increasing access to free testing,” Fetterman said.