Allegheny County

Significant testing increase needed before victory over coronavirus, Pittsburgh medical experts say

PITTSBURGH — The number of confirmed coronavirus cases has declined in Allegheny County over the last week.

Over the past week, Allegheny County had 166 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, which is a significant drop from the week prior – when more than 300 cases were announced. But medical experts say it’s far too early to declare victory.

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Experts say coronavirus testing is still hard to come by for anyone who isn’t showing severe symptoms.

According to the Allegheny County Health Department, 10,872 tests have been administered locally, less than one percent of the county’s population.

“I think to really understand the public health effect and the epidemiology of this disease, we have to be treating 10 times more people,” said Dr. Amy Crawford-Faucher, the AHN Family Medicine Vice Chair.

That could make re-opening portions of the economy tricky without a significant increase in testing.

Pittsburgh city councilman Corey O'Conner says there are no quick solutions.

“The more people we test, obviously, the better we’re going to know what’s going on. But at the end of the day, I think it’s going to be a slow roll out no matter what we do,” he said.