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New coronavirus cases continue to decline in Allegheny County

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Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review

A view of downtown Pittsburgh from the North Shore on Jan. 21.

Over the past two days, another 620 cases of coronavirus were added to Allegheny County’s total, according to a report Monday from the county’s Health Department.

The report shows there were 22% fewer new covid cases reported this week than the last Sunday-Monday period (796) in the county, and 30% fewer than the same period two weeks ago.

The drop in new cases has been happening for several weeks now. Over the past week, the county has recorded 2,749 new cases, whereas it had recorded 4,813 new cases from Jan. 5-11 — nearly 43% fewer.

Among the new cases, 493 were confirmed through 2,799 PCR tests from Sept. 23 through Sunday. There were 127 cases listed as probable. Health officials define a probable case as one in which a patient has a positive viral antigen test or covid symptoms with a “high-risk exposure” to someone who has been confirmed to have coronavirus.

Health officials said they are investigating the reporting delay with the new positive case from September. They said they have also referred the case to the state.

New cases range in age from 10 months to 97 years, with a median age of 42 years.

Allegheny County officials reported six new covid-related deaths, ranging from Dec. 13-Jan. 11, bringing the total to 1,269. Two of the newly reported deaths occurred in December. Among the new deaths, one person was in their 50s, two in their 80s and three in their 90s. Five of the six new deaths were associated with long-term care facilities.

The new cases — 325 females, 295 males — break down in age as follows:

  • Ages 0-4: 11
  • Ages 5-12: 29
  • Ages 13-18: 51
  • Ages 19-24: 62
  • Ages 25-49: 224
  • Ages 50-64: 120
  • Ages 65 and over: 123

Within Allegheny County, the state’s most up-to-date vaccine report indicates that 57,261 doses have been administered in the county — with 45,646 having a partial dose and 11,615 getting the full (two) doses.

However, some medical leaders in Western Pennsylvania have questioned the state’s vaccine numbers. Dr. Don Whiting, chief medical officer for Allegheny Health Network, has said numbers from the state can be misleading as to how many have received the vaccine. He said it was due to a number of reasons — from a lag in reporting and uploading the data to the fact that it does not account for scheduled vaccinations.

Beyond the numbers posted, medical leaders issued a warning last week regarding what they see as an inadequate supply of vaccine to meet the demand prompted by expanded eligibility in the state.

“By extending who fits into whatever category like they did, it made people feel that, ‘OK, now it’s my turn, I want to get lined up quick, too,’ but in fact, we’re still working through … the health care professionals,” Whiting said.

Despite the fact that Allegheny County recorded its lowest Sunday-Monday new case report since Dec. 27-28, the county was still the highest in Pennsylvania. Philadelphia County was second with 562 cases, followed by Montgomery (560), Bucks (422) and Lancaster (413).

According to the Open Data PA website, there are currently 330 Allegheny County residents hospitalized for covid-19, with 100 of them in intensive care units and 45 on a ventilator.

Since the pandemic began, 67,429 cases of covid-19 have been recorded, with 53,630 of those confirmed through PCR tests.

Chris Pastrick is a Tribune-Review digital producer. You can contact Chris at 412-320-7898, [email protected] or via Twitter .

Categories: Allegheny | Coronavirus | Local | Top Stories

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