71 new COVID-19 cases in Allegheny Co. mark first day below 100 in 2 weeks

Hospitalizations not spiking the same as COVID-19 cases in Allegheny County

PITTSBURGH — There were 71 new cases of the coronavirus and no new deaths reported in Allegheny County Monday, according to the Allegheny County Health Department.

Monday was the first time in two weeks that the number of new COVID-19 cases was below 100.

With Monday’s new cases, the county’s total came to 5,033. The total number of COVID-19 cases includes 4,842 confirmed cases and 191 probable cases. There have been 198 deaths.

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The county health department reported 2,273 cases from July 1 through July 13, but there have been only 73 hospitalizations over the same time frame. That’s more than the entire month of June, but less than the height of the pandemic in April.

The new cases reported Monday and six new hospitalizations, were out of 741 test results, officials said. There are now 470 people who have been or are currently being hospitalized.

In the newest cases, ages range from 5 to 93 years old, with the median age being 40.

“While we are glad to see today’s low number of positive cases, we are not reading anything into a single low number. Testing over the weekend is typically lower, meaning that there is a decrease in cases and tests reported on a Monday. Additionally, we have heard that the increased volume of residents being tested has also slowed the reporting process down. We are hopeful that this is the trend but would be remiss if we did not remind everyone to continue wearing masks, washing their hands and maintaining physical distance from others to keep our community safe,” a news release from the Health Department said. On both Saturday and Sunday, more than 1,900 test results were reported.

Experts are hopeful this could be the first of more good news to come, but they said that will depend on people social distancing and wearing masks.

“I hope that that trend continues. I would like to think it’s as a result of our population listening to public health experts and saying that this is serious and we need to get this under much better control than what we have now,” said Allegheny Health Network emergency physician Dr. Arvind Venkat.

11 investigates found hospitalizations are rising with new coronavirus cases in Allegheny County, but at a much slower rate.

In the first two weeks of July, there have been 73 hospitalizations, already surpassing the 53 from June.

While the county is on pace to also surpass the 105 coronavirus hospitalizations in May, there would need to be a surge to pass the 175 reported in April.

The number of cases that we’ve seen in Allegheny County and surrounding counties has been higher, but not overwhelming so. But it could very easily get out of control,” Venkat said.

While it’s unlikely most of the younger people testing positive for the coronavirus now will need to be hospitalized, Venkat said who they interact with could cause that to change quickly.

“It’s almost inevitable that if young people get this disease then older people will get this disease and we will see the rise in hospitalizations like they’ve seen in Arizona, Texas, and Florida,” Venkat said.

Allegheny Health Network and UPMC have each reported plenty of available hospital beds and ventilators if that rise happens. But Venkat believes we should take what’s happened in states like Arizona and Texas as a warning of what can happen if we don’t take a spike in cases seriously.

Allegheny County marks first day below 100 new COVID-19 cases in 2 weeks