Allegheny County Health Director To Modify Current Dine-In Order

Allegheny County Health Director Dr. Debra Bogen
Photo credit Allegheny County
By NewsRadio 1020 KDKA

PITTSBURGH (Newsradio 1020 KDKA) - With COVID-19 cases spiking in Allegheny County, additional measures could be taken to prevent that number from rising even higher.

The county has had more coronavirus cases in the past two weeks than it did in the past previous two months.

For the past two days, over 200 cases of coronavirus have been reported in the county.  

Health Department Director Dr. Debra Bogen says she plans on modifying her current order that prevents restaurants and bars from having dine-in services on Wednesday afternoon.

“I am cognizant that we must balance the risks of infection with the risks that result from the mitigations strategies themselves,” said Dr. Bogen.

Bogen says she is considering modifying the event limits and restrictions for outdoor food and drink services at restaurants in the county, and adds the orders can change depending how well or bad the number of infections continue to be.

Dr. Bogen says case investigation continues to show that a majority of the people recently infected have visited either a restaurant or bar.

“Last week among 347 new cases who indicated during a call that they had attended a community event or a mass gathering, 117 said they visited at least one bar and 50 said they visited at least one restaurant,” said Bogen. “None of the other reported activities compare in magnitude to the number of time cases have reported going to bars and restaurants. For example, last week, 36 new cases said they attended a private party, 17 visited a retail store, 13 said they watched or participated in some sort of sporting event and 13 said they had gone to a gym.”

Two weeks ago the infection rate for COVID-19 was around 2 to 3 percent, and recently has risen to 8 to 10 percent.

Nearly 75 percent of cases still remain in those age 19 – 49.

Hospitalizations remain low, but the county has seen a steady increase recently with seven on Tuesday.

Governor Tom Wolf has said he doesn’t see another state-wide shutdown in the future and decisions should be made by local health officials.

Dr. Bogen says that contact tracing investigations will show officials in what areas of society actions needs to be taken and that is why dine-in at bars and restaurants were shut down because a large number of cases were stemming from those businesses.

Dr. Bogen doesn’t think it is helpful or necessary to needlessly shut down businesses or activities where coronavirus cases are not high.

 

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