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Despite The Start Of Academic Year, Coronavirus Cases Are Dropping In Allegheny County

Katie Blackley
90.5 WESA
Allgheny County's McKeesport coronavirus testing site.

The Allegheny County Health Department says that college and university students comprise roughly 15 percent of September’s coronavirus cases.

“Which is exceedingly low compared to other places. So our colleges and universities have done a wonderful job,” said Health Department Director Dr. Debra Bogen at a Wednesday press conference.

Bogen said she had expected to see a surge in cases with the start of the academic year, but the infection rate is dropping both on the state and county level.

In Allegheny County, over the most recent seven days, there were 29.7 cases per 100,000 people. During the previous seven days, there were 37.8 cases per 100,000. However, infections are rising in many states.

Bogen also said that she would like more people to get tested. The county’s testing site in McKeesport has softened the criteria for people seeking a test

At first the county was using guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A patient had to have symptoms or have been exposed to someone infected with the virus. Now county residents can get a test if they recently traveled, need a test in order to return to work, or are worried they might have contracted the virus after attending an event.

“There are plenty of slots available,” said Bogen, who added that the tests are free and do not require a doctor’s note.

Sarah Boden covers health and science for 90.5 WESA. Before coming to Pittsburgh in November 2017, she was a reporter for Iowa Public Radio where she covered a range of issues, including the 2016 Iowa Caucuses.
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