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Allegheny County, State Report Modest Number Of New COVID Cases

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Gene J. Puskar
/
AP

Both Allegheny County and the state as a whole posted only modest numbers of new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday.

Allegheny County reported just 15 new cases on Tuesday, days before Gov. Tom Wolf's administration is set to begin easing some restrictions designed to limit the spread of the disease. The county has logged 1,526 cases since it began tracking cases mid-March. A dozen of the new cases reported Tuesday were the results of actual tests. The remaining three were “probable” cases – those where a test hasn’t been conducted, but the patient is known to have symptoms of the disease and contact with a carrier.

In all, the county reported a total of 373 positive and negative test results Tuesday. That’s about half the daily volume it would need to meet a goal set by Wolf’s administration to test 2 percent of the population each month.

Allegheny County reported four deaths stemming from the disease, raising the toll since March to 127 fatalities, and six new hospitalizations. Some 280 county residents have been hospitalized since the disease first took hold: The county does not track how many of those have since been release.

Statewide, an additional 75 deaths from COVID 19 were reported Tuesday, bringing the toll to 3,806 deaths. Another 837 new cases of the disease were reported; the state has been hovering around the 1,000-case-per-day mark for several days.

At both the state and county level, nursing and personal care homes represent an outsized portion of COVID-19 cases. Around the state, 540 of those facilities account for a total of 13,854 cases of the disease, over 1,700 involve staff. Just over 100 of those staff members, and some 350 residents, are tied to long-term care facilities in Allegheny County.

The quality of care at such facilities has become among the most contentious areas in the debate over how to respond to the virus.

Nearly three decades after leaving home for college, Chris Potter now lives four miles from the house he grew up in -- a testament either to the charm of the South Hills or to a simple lack of ambition. In the intervening years, Potter held a variety of jobs, including asbestos abatement engineer and ice-cream truck driver. He has also worked for a number of local media outlets, only some of which then went out of business. After serving as the editor of Pittsburgh City Paper for a decade, he covered politics and government at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. He has won some awards during the course of his quarter-century journalistic career, but then even a blind squirrel sometimes digs up an acorn.