Allegheny County reports 500 new COVID cases, PA’s positivity rate of tests is up

‘Doing nothing is no longer an option,’ Bogen says

by PublicSource Reporters

The Allegheny County Health Department [ACHD] reported 500 new COVID-19 cases Monday, just 27 fewer cases than Sunday, when ACHD reported a record-high new caseload since the pandemic began. 

The county also reported one new death from Nov. 14, someone in their 70s. To date, ACHD has reported 20,526 cases, 459 deaths and 1,656 hospitalizations. 

The new cases, 450 of which confirmed, came from individuals ages five months to 93 years old, with a median age of 40. The positive tests occurred from Nov. 9 to Nov. 15. Individuals younger than 50 represent about two-thirds of the new caseload.

“The continued increase in new COVID cases is beyond concerning. This past week, I joined with the chief medical officers of our region’s health systems to talk about our growing concerns,” ACHD Director Dr. Debra Bogen said in a statement issued on Sunday, a departure from the health department’s scheduled updates. “Despite our cautionary messages, the number of cases is continuing to increase rapidly. While we are better prepared today than when we first began seeing cases in March, we must still be proactive in reducing the spread of the virus.”

“Doing nothing is no longer an option as we must protect our healthcare workers, both at hospital and long-term care facilities, and our first responders during this health crisis,” Bogen said. “People are doing well in structured settings, but we continue to see more and more cases as a result of unmonitored, private social gatherings.

“Just because you are gathering outdoors, or with people you know, doesn’t mean that you’re not at risk for COVID,” she continued. “Even outdoors or with those you know, people need to remain six feet apart and should be masked. Whether in someone’s backyard, or at a public space, the guidelines remain the same. We’ve become complacent in recent months, and the number of cases clearly shows that. We are actively considering what options are available to the Health Department to limit this spread.”

 

FEATURED IMAGE: Dr. Debra Bogen being introduced as Allegheny County’s new health director in March 2020, just before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Pittsburgh region. (Photo by Ryan Loew/PublicSource)

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