Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Contact 90.5 WESA with a story idea or news tip:

Allegheny County Logs Highest Single Day Jump In COVID-19 Infections

Gene J. Puskar

The Allegheny County Health Department on Saturday announced 90 new cases of COVID-19, the highest daily total since reporting on the pandemic began in mid-March.

The announcement caps a full week of elevated numbers of daily cases that began about two weeks after the county entered the green phase of reopening, with restaurants and bars allowed to function at half-capacity.

Another trend also continued, with an increased percentage of the cases involving younger people. More than three-quarters of the new cases were people in the 19-49 age group; of that figure, more than half were in people aged 19-24.

No new deaths and two new hospitalizations were reported. However, both hospitalizations and deaths are a lagging indicator of the spread of the virus.

Contact tracing by the county indicates that the new wave of infection is linked largely to out-of-state travel and people patronizing restaurants and bars.

The new numbers put the county on track to exceed the standard set for counties to move from the red phase to the yellow phase of the state's reopening plan. Among other factors, Gov. Tom Wolf's administration said counties must have 50 or fewer new infections per 100,000 people over the course of two weeks in order to advance to yellow. In Allegheny County, that's an average of about 43 cases per day. Since June 20, the county has reported an average of nearly 45 new cases per day.

Statewide, the Pennsylvania Department of Health reported 621 additional positive cases and 24 new deaths on Saturday.

Bill is a long-time Pittsburgh-based journalist specializing in the arts and the environment. Previous to working at WESA, he spent 21 years at the weekly Pittsburgh City Paper, the last 14 as Arts & Entertainment editor. He is a graduate of Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism and in 30-plus years as a journalist has freelanced for publications including In Pittsburgh, The Nation, E: The Environmental Magazine, American Theatre, and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Bill has earned numerous Golden Quill awards from the Press Club of Western Pennsylvania. He lives in the neighborhood of Manchester, and he once milked a goat. Email: