Pandemic exposes weakness in Pa. counties without health departments, like Westmoreland


TRIB-LIVE - Westmoreland County, like 61 of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties, leaves the issue of public health to the state to handle. Only four cities statewide have their own health departments. That reality of the state’s public health infrastructure would come back to haunt and frustrate local officials when the corona­virus pandemic arrived in early 2020.

Upfront investments in public health that lead to a deeper knowledge of the community could be a bargain in the long term, said Dr. Noble A-W Maseru, a professor of public health practice at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health. He compared it to the cost of preventing a serious illness versus the cost of treating it later.

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