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Gov. Wolf announces inclusion of gender identity, sexual orientation or expression in COVID-19 data collection


Gov. Tom Wolf Wednesday announced ways the LGBTQ community in Pennsylvania will be counted in COVID-19 data. As counties in the commonwealth move from the red stay-at-home order to the aggressive mitigation efforts of the yellow phase, the Department of Health will conduct extensive case history investigations as part of contact tracing on those who test positive for the virus. The department has chosen to work with Sara Alert, a new data-collection platform and has requested a system modification to the platform to collect sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) data.

The department is an early adopter of the technology and this system modification will provide for the platform to collect this data in all states and entities that use it moving forward. The department has also requested from the eHealth Authority Board that the state’s six health information organizations work to capture sexual orientation and gender identity or expression data from electronic health records that can then be used by health-care providers to report their COVID-19 data to the department.

To ensure a healthy Pennsylvania for all, especially during these unprecedented times, the Wolf Administration will only partner with organizations and entities throughout its response to COVID-19 that have an established commitment to non-discriminatory practices.