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Allegheny County Outpacing Philadelphia In COVID Deaths This Month

David Zalubowski

State data shows that 299 Allegheny County residents have died from COVID-19 so far this month.


That means that one-third of the county’s total COVID fatalities since the start of the pandemic have occurred in December.


According to the state, there are 767 COVID-19 patients hospitalized in Allegheny County, including 197 in intensive care units.


Allegheny County’s fatalities are also outpacing those in Philadelphia this month, despite the fact that Philadelphia is home to 368,000 more people.


Just under 10 percent of all Pennsylvania deaths from COVID-19 have occurred this month in Allegheny County, which comprises around 10 percent of the state's population. 


Both Allegheny County and Pennsylvania have set multiple single-day records for COVID-19 cases and deaths in December. The surge started in early fall and picked up pace following Thanksgiving.


In early December, Governor Tom Wolf instituted several mitigation efforts, including banning indoor dining and limiting crowd sizes.


At a Wednesday press conference, Pennsylvania Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine said that those mitigation efforts seem to be driving a reduction in cases across the state over the past few weeks. But Allegheny County Health Director Dr. Debra Bogen warned that holiday gatherings could reverse the decline.

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. As a contributor to the NPR-Kaiser Health News Member Station Reporting Project on Health Care in the States, Sarah's print and audio reporting frequently appears on NPR and KFF Health News.