Allegheny County returns to high coronavirus community infection levels | Pittsburgh City Paper

Allegheny County returns to high coronavirus community infection levels

Rising levels of new COVID-19 cases throughout July and early August have once again tipped Allegheny County into the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's "high" community transmission tier.

The CDC uses several metrics to determine levels of community infection, including the number of cases per 100,000 population, the number of new hospital admissions, and the percentage of overall hospital beds taken up by COVID-positive patients.

According to CDC data, 218 out of every 100,000 residents in Allegheny County are testing positive for the disease each day based on a seven-day running average. Ten patients have been admitted to the hospital during the past seven days, and coronavirus patients currently take up 4.2% of staffed inpatient beds.

The CDC recommends that county residents wear masks indoors, stay up-to-date on vaccines, and get tested if symptoms show. The Allegheny County Health Department has not issued additional guidelines beyond referring to those set by the CDC.

Allegheny County was last flagged in the high community infection bracket during a surge in late spring, after which numbers began to dwindle, dropping it back to the CDC's lowest tracking tier.

Rising cases throughout July brought the county back into the medium range last week, before a slight rise since July 29 tipped it back into the high threshold.

Despite the recent uptick in cases, overall numbers remain far below the winter surge where new daily cases briefly peaked above 4,000 in January. Hospitalizations and deaths have also stayed below their peak levels in the first 12 months of the outbreak, after vaccines became widely available to the public.

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By Mars Johnson