Allegheny Co. executive optimistic that area could move to green phase next week

ALLEGHENY CO., Pa. — Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald told reporters Wednesday that he is optimistic Gov. Tom Wolf could allow the county to move to the green phase as early as next week.

In the county’s weekly press conference, Fitzgerald said he expects to hear something from Wolf on Friday, but he hopes the continuing low numbers of COVID-19 cases will be enough for Allegheny County to get the green light for June 5.

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Dr. Debra Bogen, head of the Allegheny County Health Department, said they have not seen an uptick in cases since the county transitioned to the yellow phase two weeks ago.

Fitzgerald also said the county is considering reopening pools after Wolf gave the okay last week, but he cautioned that no decision has been made yet. Fitzgerald supports the NHL Eastern Conference playoffs being hosted by Pittsburgh, and Bogen added she is confident it can be done safely.

“My sense is that we would probably get the designation to go into green a week later, which would open up some more businesses, some of our restaurants, hair salons, nail salons, gyms and those types of things,” Fitzgerald said.

As far as new cases, the health department released up-to-date numbers. Since May 6, there have been 278 new cases in Allegheny County. Of those:

  • 39 (14%) are healthcare workers
  • 27 (10%) are employees at long-term care facilities; these employees are also counted in the healthcare worker data
  • 114 (41%) are residents in long-term care facilities
  • 125 people (45%) are neither healthcare workers nor residents of long-term care facilities
  • 201 of 278 (72%) are linked to another known case; 167 are linked to a known cluster of cases; 34 are linked to another known individual case
  • Of 125 cases that are not healthcare workers or in long-term care centers, 54% are linked to another known individual or cluster

Officials also addressed reports from the state about Multi-system Inflammatory Syndrome, the mysterious COVID-19-related illness in children. Pa. health officials said Wednesday it now has 13 confirmed cases and is investigating 10 more.

Bogen told reporters that there aren’t any MIS cases in Allegheny County, but they are watching it closely.