Allegheny County health director says COVID-19 case counts keep dropping

About 68% of Allegheny County’s entire population has received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose, and daily caseloads of the virus continue to follow a steady, several-week-long decline. 

Daily case counts in the last week have dropped to fewer than 130 new cases reported a day, according to Allegheny County Health Department Director Dr. Debra Bogen. 

“For that reason and others, I am hopeful that we can keep the numbers heading in the right direction,” Bogen said in a Wednesday press briefing. 

Across the county, the vast majority of those 65 and older have received at least one vaccine dose, and adoption of the vaccines has improved among younger people. More than half of those 20 to 35 have received at least one vaccine dose, according to Bogen.

ACHD will soon begin vaccinating those 12 to 15 years old and will provide free transportation to residents having issues getting to a vaccination clinic. Anyone unable to get to a vaccination site can call the county’s 211 number to arrange a ride, Bogen said. 

Bogen mirrored advice given by the Centers for Disease Control stating that fully vaccinated people can gather without masks or social distancing. Bogen emphasized that “fully vaccinated” means waiting two weeks after a final dose of the vaccine. 

Recent case investigations trace transmission of the virus to gatherings like sports practices and parties, almost always among those not fully vaccinated, usually without masks and often indoors. Bogen advised residents to remain vigilant while pursuing the most crucial goal of getting as many people vaccinated as possible. 

“Getting vaccinated is the key to keeping numbers low. It’s really that simple,” Bogen said. “COVID-19 may never fully go away, but with enough people vaccinated, we can manage small outbreaks, mainly among the unvaccinated, and regain control of our lives.” 

Allegheny County Health Department Director Dr. Debra Bogen (courtesy of Allegheny County)

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Allegheny County health director says COVID-19 case counts keep dropping

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