Allegheny County leaders hopeful entertainment, sporting venues can allow people soon as COVID-19 cases drop

Allegheny County issues response to some doses mistakenly given out as first doses

PITTSBURGH — As COVID-19 cases continue dropping in Allegheny County, executive Rich Fitzgerald said he is hopeful that entertainment venues and sporting events can soon start allowing people in.

“More and more people becoming vaccinated is very helpful,” he said. “There’s light at the end of the tunnel. There’s some good news on the horizon.”

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On Wednesday, the Allegheny County Health Department reported 215 new cases and 26 new deaths related to the virus. Director Dr. Debra Bogen said this is nearly in line with what the county has seen, averaging about 182 cases per day. She said that is a drop of about 15 cases per day compared to last week.

At a news conference, Bogen said the positivity rate in the county was stable, at 6%.

She cautioned that there are likely more cases related to more COVID-19 variants in the area that just haven’t been found or reported yet.

“This was the first and only case of the (UK) variant reported thus far,” Bogen said. “That doesn’t mean it’s the only case. We mustn’t let down our guard.”

Working to ensure second doses

State officials announced on Wednesday that some providers inadvertently gave doses of the Moderna vaccine as first doses that should have been second doses.

Bogen said the ACHD is working on a plan to ensure that people who received their first dose through the agency will also be able to get their second dose. She said the first and second doses of the Moderna vaccine are identical.

More vaccination sites possibly coming

On Tuesday, Channel 11 told you about leaders in Ross Township approving an agreement with the county to allow a community gymnasium to be used as a vaccination site.

County officials said Wednesday that they are still exploring possible locations. Fitzgerald said there are more clinics in the works, but they don’t have specifics because it all depends on how many doses of the vaccine are available. He said ACHD only gets around 10% of the doses shipped to the county, the major hospital systems get about 65% of doses, pharmacies get about 15% and the rest go to smaller agencies, doctors’ offices, federally qualified health centers, and others.

Fitzgerald also said the health department is also taking into account what the hospital systems are doing, and will make sure there are no duplications in terms of areas being served.

PA Dept. of Health assures people will get second doses of COVID-19 vaccine