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As COVID reporting scaled back, some still want the data

Executive Director Jessica Collins was quoted in today's Daily Hampshire Gazette.​​​​​​

While the state and some communities are cutting back the frequency of their data updates — or considered the option, such as Easthampton — vaccination rates still have room for improvement, said Jessica Collins, executive director of the Public Health Institute of Western Massachusetts.

The Public Health Institute does not have any plans to scale back its own dashboard in the near future, according to Collins. In the future, the Public Health Institute may expand the dashboard to include other issues that present health inequities, Collins said — as has been the case with COVID, which has disproportionately impacted Black and Latinx people.

Collins also continued to caution people to “marry the data with prevention” and continue to take measures such as staying home and getting tested if they feel sick, and wearing a mask on public transportation and in medical settings.

“I think we still want to make sure that COVID is still taken seriously,” Collins said, “and we want to continue highlighting the inequities that we are seeing in morbidity and mortality, and I think it is important to continue to show the vaccine rates.”

Read the full article here.

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