Allegheny Co. considers easing some COVID-19 restrictions

PITTSBURGH — Allegheny County officials may soon be easing some coronavirus restrictions.

There were only 14 new cases of COVID-19 Wednesday, the lowest number since mid-June.

Dr. Debra Bogen, director of the Allegheny County Health Department said she’s considering easing restrictions because the current mitigation efforts are working.

One of the restrictions she’s willing to ease is the maximum number of people allowed in outdoor gatherings, which in Allegheny County is currently 50 people.

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Bogen didn’t say when a change could be made for outdoor settings, but she’s actively monitoring the situation.

“I am reconsidering our limits on outdoor gatherings and will announce any changes when they’re made. I won’t be increasing capacity to 250 — the state’s limit at this time,” Bogen said. “The 250 limit on indoor gatherings will remain unchanged. The limit is set by the state and the health department cannot modify a state order to make it less restrictive.”

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In addition, Bogen talked about Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines and testing. The CDC changed the guidelines for testing, saying that people who have been in close contact with someone who tested positive do not necessarily need to be tested.

However, Bogen says she is still recommending you get tested if you’ve been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19.

On Thursday, 61 new cases were reported out of 1,084 test results. 59 are confirmed and two are probable. The Health Department said the date of positive tests go back to June 22.

With the exception of the one outlier, all results were from specimens taken since August 17.

New cases range in age from 16 to 91 years old with a median age of 59 years.

One new death was reported. The Health Department said a person in their 80s died on Aug. 22. The death is associated with a long-term care facility.

Since March 14, there have been 10,065 cases of COVID-19 in Allegheny County residents, 957 hospitalizations and 318 deaths.

Click here to visit the county’s dashboard for a breakdown of information.