Elections Division Manager Dave Voye wrote in a Friday press release that the office has spent the months following the June elections confirming polling locations, training poll workers, and taking additional measures to further strengthen the “integrity of the election system.”
“We have also heard clearly that voters remain concerned about COVID and their own health and welfare,” he wrote. “With that in mind, we have worked on this proposed plan, consistent with guidance from the Pennsylvania Department of State, that will provide additional options for voters to engage in the democratic process.”
The Allegheny County Health Department [ACHD] reported 100 new COVID-19 infections Friday and two new COVID-related fatalities. The newly reported cases bring the total count since March 14 to 11,069 infections.
The case tally released Friday came from 1,134 tests conducted from Aug. 24 through Sept. 10. The new infections were among patients 4 months to 94 years, with the median age being 21. Of the new cases, 80% were in people younger than 50.
To date, the county has had 360 deaths and 1,053 people hospitalized because of the virus.
State Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine said Friday that the Department of Health and the Department of Education are working closely with superintendents, school boards, and other school authorities to ensure the safety of students, faculty, and staff as schools reopen.
She noted the most significant recent increases in case counts have been within the 19 to 24 year age group, predominantly, though not exclusively, in college and university settings.
“Of course, those colleges and universities are all in communities, and they are in counties and they impact those communities and counties in terms of the spread of this virus,” Levine said.
Levine partially attributed the case increases to parties and other large social gatherings among young adults and their failure to wear masks, wash hands, and abide by social distancing guidelines.
“I know that the colleges and universities are working with their students, in terms of all of that, and emphasizing the same things that I emphasize every day,” Levine said. “You have to work with the young people and empower them to make the right decisions.”
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