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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.