Pa. grants Delaware County health department final approval

The Pennsylvania Department of Health has finally issued the certificate of approval for the long-awaited Delaware County Health Department.

A spokesperson for the state agency told WHYY News that approval was granted on Monday.

“The process of applying for and being approved for a new county health department is comprehensive and often involves multiple correspondence back and forth between the county and the state to ensure that all critical information is provided and required actions are completed,” the statement read.

The County Council has five days from Feb. 28 in which to send written notice to all 49 municipalities. Thirty days after that notification, the county Health Department will be considered officially established and able to exercise its powers as a new governmental body.

With the start of the COVID-19 pandemic two years ago, Delaware County made headlines for being not only the largest county without a health department in Pennsylvania, but also the largest in the country. There has been a concerted effort to change that by the County Council, which has been all Democratic since January 2020. (Republicans, who had dominated the council since the Civil War era, had for decades pushed back on the notion that Delco needed its own department.)