Allegheny County Says There's No Clear Pattern To Explain Growing Number Of Coronavirus Cases

Oct 28, 2020

The coronavirus is spreading throughout all corners of Allegheny County.

At various points during the pandemic, different locations or segments of the population seemed to be driving up case numbers. First it was nursing homes; then it shifted to young adults and people who had traveled out of state.   

But the county’s health department says the growing number of infections doesn't appear to be coming from any particular source. 

“The remarkable thing about our cases is that there is no pattern at this point. No one age group, no one neighborhood, no one exposure,” said department Director Dr. Debra Bogen at a Wednesday press conference. “The most common theme among the cases is that they report being out and about, attending to usual business.”

Bogen did note that of the more than 800 cases the county investigated last week, 60 reported attending a party, and at least 100 visited a restaurant or bar.

“So, I’m asking you all to be careful, especially when you’re around people you know well like family and friends,” she said. “That’s where we let our guard down, we take our masks off, we hug, we stand close. That is where the virus is spreading.”  

Despite the rising number of cases, Bogen said she was confident that local health systems will be able to handle the additional patients.

“I meet every week with the chief medical officers from all of the region’s hospitals. And all of those hospitals have very in-depth plans for accommodating COVID-19 patients. And if [cases] increase, they have a plan to manage that,” she said.

According to state data, there are currently 162 people hospitalized in Allegheny County with COVID-19; 25 of those hospitalized are on ventilators.

Case counts are also growing statewide. On Tuesday there was a record-breaking 2,751 additional Pennsylvanias reported to be infected. A total of 1,187 people are in Pennsylvania hospitals, 114 of whom are on ventilators.