Anger over entrenched racism and white supremacy in American culture is boiling over, after the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and other black people at the hands of police and private citizens. Regular protests continue in Pittsburgh and across the country, but many activists have pivoted from simply expressing rage to making demands.
And, after more than a month of COVID-19 case counts trending downward, Allegheny County saw a spike over the past week. Since last Friday, the county has reported 199 new cases.
Health officials don’t know for sure why the uptick is happening, but some speculate it’s due to people traveling outside of Allegheny County and activities like eating out at restaurants. Dr. Debra Bogen, Allegheny County Health Department Director, said it’s not likely due to people attending protests or the June primary.
It’s becoming increasingly clear that the pandemic is not going to end anytime soon and social distancing is here to stay, at least in the near term. Many arts and cultural organizations have canceled shows into the fall, but some are finding creative ways to continue to perform, including the purchase of a giant, mobile stage.
Helping explain the headlines this week:
- Ariel Worthy, government and accountability digital producer
- Bill O'Driscoll, arts and culture reporter
- Sarah Boden, science and health reporter