EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU) — States have been tasked with keeping their populations safe all throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, but not all states took the same measures during the past two and a half years.
That very fact bears out in a new study. It reveals Pennsylvania ranks well in one particular area and not so well in others.
The new survey by the data-crunching online finance advice company WalletHub ranks Pennsylvania tied first with four other states for best vaccination rates.
“It is one of the highest in the country so that obviously is a good sign,” WalletHub analyst, Jill Gonzalez said.
What’s not so great? Pennsylvania’s overall rank of 17th in five key metrics areas. The commonwealth placed in the middle of several key WalletHub categories.
“The COVID-19 death rate ranks 26th right now so a little bit below average so there seems to be a little bit of a disconnect right there,” Gonzalez continued.
Acting Secretary of Health and Pennsylvania Physician General, Denise Johnson, blames the below-average score on the fact Pennsylvania has an above-average number of seniors.
“We know that with COVID-19 there were certainly more impacts in the older population and that’s why we really made a concerted effort to make sure that our older population was vaccinated and protected,” Johnson said.
Other categories include positive testing, hospitalization, and community transmission. While Dr. Johnson wants Pennsylvania to be among the nation’s leaders in pandemic response, she said new mandates from the state is something it’s not prepared to do.
“As we go forward in the pandemic, we know that individuals want to be able to take their personal responsibility and protect themselves and their families and so we’re arming them with all of the resources that they need to really do just that,” Johnson states.
Pennsylvanians, like Jill Dzugan, are fine with leaving masking and other safety measures to the individual.
“That’s their, you know, their right to do that,” Dzugan said.
“But do you think it should be mandated?” Mark Hiller asked.
“No, I’m not saying so,” Dzugan responded.
Dr. Johnson says Pennsylvania will continue to prioritize vaccinations against COVID-19 and its variants this fall and winter.
For more information on how people of the commonwealth have fought COVID-19, visit Wallethub.com