Not done with virus: County reports rising cases despite decline last month

Dr. Debra Bogen, Allegheny County Health Director (Photo by Ryan Loew/PublicSource/File)

by PublicSource

Despite slightly declining in October, COVID-19 cases in Allegheny County have increased over the past two weeks and are not expected to fall in the near future, County Health Director Dr. Debra Bogen said at a Wednesday briefing.

Allegheny County averaged 350 to 400 new cases per day over the past two weeks and reported 600 new cases today alone. 

The rise in cases comes as other counties nationwide are experiencing declines, Bogen said. 

“We don’t have any special reason other than that we have let our guard down and the Delta variant is a highly contagious virus,” Bogen added. 

Mask-wearing and physical distancing have decreased countywide, and people are attending more large gatherings, including concerts and sporting events, Bogen said.

“It’s as if people have decided that they are done with the pandemic,” she added. “I totally get it, I understand COVID fatigue, but wishful thinking does not make it so. We may be done with the virus, but unfortunately the virus is not done with us.”

Allegheny County reported 174 COVID-related deaths in October, the third highest since the pandemic began — only falling behind December 2020 and January 2021. 

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PublicSource has been tracking COVID-19’s spread on a daily basis since March 2020. More than a year later, in an effort to direct our resources into enterprise reporting on the pandemic and other important issues, we will cover the Allegheny County Health Department’s weekly briefing on Wednesdays and update the numbers on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. We may adjust as the prevalence of the coronavirus ebbs and flows. If you have questions or comments, please email PublicSource’s managing editor halle@publicsource.org.

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