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Carbon County wants more coronavirus patient info from the Department of Health

Officials in Carbon County want the Pennsylvania Department of Health to release more information about COVID-19 cases in their area.

CARBON COUNTY, Pa. — There are 59 cases of COVID-19 in Carbon County, but officials have no idea which townships or boroughs those cases are coming from. Carbon County commissioners say that would be useful information to have, and they're are calling on the state to release it.

"What we're looking for is locations so that we can pinpoint areas there are problems that, you know, our first responders are in danger," said Carbon County Commissioner Rocky Ahner.

Commissioner Ahner says those details would not be for public knowledge, but rather for emergency management purposes. For example, if the county realized that there's a large number of cases in Jim Thorpe, the commissioners would be able to divert more resources to that area.

"If it's concentrated in one area, does that constitute that we have to have a lockdown for that area? Maybe," said Ahner.

First responders at Jim Thorpe EMS say they take the same precautions for every patient, so knowing where the cases are concentrated would not change the way they do their jobs.

"We might be extra vigilant, but it's going to end the same way. We're going to go in fully protected," said Bruce Bisbing, Jim Thorpe EMS.

But if it meant getting more protective equipment sent their way, which is hard to come by these days, the geographical information would be more than welcome.

The commissioners asked their state representatives to send a letter to the Department of Health with their request.

During Monday's daily press briefing, Newswatch 16 asked Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine if the state was considering releasing such info. She said the department is in active discussions about it and hopes to have a solution by the end of the week.

RELATED: COVID-19 Update in Pennsylvania for Monday, April 6