Fewer than 50 COVID-19 cases on average are now reported daily by the Allegheny County Health Department [ACHD], a milestone not met in the county since almost a year ago, in June, when the county first entered its “green phase.”
“Much of the credit of this rapidly improving situation goes to our vaccines,” ACHD Director Dr. Debra Bogen said Wednesday. “They work, they protect us from serious effects of COVID, and they’re helping us get back to the world we knew pre-pandemic.”
COVID-19 tests are also coming back positive just 3% of the time, the lowest in more than 6 months, and hospitalizations and deaths are at levels unseen since late October, early November, according to Bogen.
“Just two months ago, we were stuck in a fourth surge and averaging more than 450 new cases a day,” Bogen said. “And we have not had a daily total above 100 since May 21.”
The vast majority of residents 65 and older have been at least partially vaccinated, according to Bogen. About 72% of residents in the age ranges of 35 to 49 and 50 to 64 have been at least partially vaccinated, and about 61% of residents 20 to 34 have been at least partially vaccinated. For teens 16 to 19, the rate is 41%, and 12 to 15 year olds, who have only recently been able to get injected, have a rate of 13%.
ACHD has not yet noted any significant increase in the transmission of the virus due to the Memorial Day weekend, when many residents gathered with their friends and family.
“I’m not sure if we’ll see a bump or not,” Bogen said. “We do have lots of people vaccinated and more people getting so every day. It’s also warmer weather. People are more outdoors.”
Many Allegheny County residents are seeing some semblance of a return to normalcy, including Bogen. For more than a year, signs on the door of ACHD have told visitors that they must wear a mask. Last week, a new sign read that anyone fully vaccinated may forgo their mask.
“That was certainly a welcome sight,” Bogen said.
Pennsylvania expects to lift its mask mandate on or before June 28, citing broad success in vaccinating adults.
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