Alle. Co’s recent spike in COVID cases is showing no signs of stopping, officials say

‘While rates and cases in many other parts of the country have dropped, that is not the case here or in many of our surrounding counties, and frankly, that worries me,’ county Health Director Debra Bogen said

By: - November 11, 2021 12:13 pm

Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald at a COVID briefing in Point State Park in November 2020 (Pittsburgh City Paper photo).

By Jason Phox

PITTSBURGH —  COVID-19 cases in Allegheny County have spiked recently, the Allegheny County Health Department said during Wednesday briefing, where officials offered both an update on the county’s statistics and some advice on how to reduce the COVID cases.

At the briefing, Allegheny County Health Department Director Dr. Debra Bogen expressed concern over the increase in recent COVID cases. She said the county saw 174 COVID-related deaths in October, making it the third-deadliest month since the start of the pandemic, and the county’s COVID positivity rate increased by 8%.

“While rates and cases in many other parts of the country have dropped, that is not the case here or in many of our surrounding counties, and frankly, that worries me,” Bogen said.

She warned the county could see an even more significant spike in cases with the weather getting colder and people gathering for the holidays. Bogen said the county sees no indication that the numbers of cases will be dropping any time soon.

To help lower the number of cases in the county, Bogen and Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald urged those eligible to get vaccinated and/or the booster shot. She also encourages residents to follow CDC guidance like practice social distancing, and wear masks when indoors with non-household members.

Pa. Health Dept.: More than 5.2K new COVID-19 cases; More than 2.5K hospitalized

Fitzgerald said nearly 830,000 Allegheny County residents have received their first vaccine shot, and 740,000 have been fully vaccinated. He thanked companies who require employees to be vaccinated and wished more companies would follow suit.

“I want to thank them for stepping up and helping us to be healthy,” said Fitzgerald. “I am now asking all of the other companies and organizations to do the same. We’re in a war, we’ve been in warfare against it [since] March of 2020, with a virus that has taken many lives. And I want to thank the 830,000 patriotic Allegheny County citizens who have stepped up to keep all of us safe.”

The county’s health department reported 599 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday. There have been 9,003 total hospitalizations and 136,799 total coronavirus cases in Allegheny County since the pandemic started.

Jason Phox is a reporter at Pittsburgh City Paper, where this story first appeared

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