HARRISBURG – All 67 PA counties would be required to have their own health departments or create a regional health department with contiguous counties under legislation being proposed by Lancaster County Rep. Mike Sturla. In his sponsorship memo to lawmakers, Sturla said as the COVID-19 pandemic has shown, governmental health departments are now more important than ever, especially with future pandemics being inevitable. Currently, only Allegheny, Bucks, Chester, Erie, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties operate their own health departments. Sturla added that local officials are best positioned to understand the needs of their communities; therefore, it’s critical that local officials utilize their expertise in their own health department to ensure the best health outcomes for their constituents.