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Uptick in Allegheny County COVID-19 numbers might be slowing

Sarah Kovash
90.5 WESA

The recent uptick in COVID-19 cases in Allegheny County might finally be slowing down, according to data from the county health department’s weekly coronavirus report.

There were 1,767 cases reported during the week ending Wednesday, May 4. While nearly 200 more infections than reported the previous week, it’s also a smaller increase than the last three weekly reports.

This past week’s cases are likely an undercount due to the prevalence of at-home testing. Still, tracking infections provides a helpful barometer when analyzing the transmission level of a community.

The previous week also saw 41 hospitalizations and two deaths.

An estimated 81.2% of Allegheny County residents aged five or older have had at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine; 72.3% are fully vaccinated. Of those 12 and older and therefore eligible for a booster dose, 55.8% have gotten their shots.

Wastewater data

Analysis of the coronavirus in the county’s sewage lags behind weekly case counts. However, the county health department reports levels of the virus doubled between the third and fourth week of April.

The county health department also reports that Omicron subvariant BA.2 is the dominant strain in the wastewater samples. It accounts for up to 85% of the detected virus. There’s been an ongoing rise of COVID-19 cases in the county that began early last month, which coincided with the subvariant becoming dominant.

Sarah Boden covers health and science for 90.5 WESA. Before coming to Pittsburgh in November 2017, she was a reporter for Iowa Public Radio where she covered a range of issues, including the 2016 Iowa Caucuses.