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Pennsylvania’s positivity rate rises to 9.6% as cases of COVID-19 surge

ALLEGHENY COUNTY, Pa. — The fall resurgence in COVID-19 cases continues across Pennsylvania, with the state seeing a seven-day increase of more than 26,000 cases, with a statewide positivity rate of 9.6%, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health. There were 9,569 more new cases across the state over the past week compared to the previous week.

There were 4,476 new cases reported Monday, in addition to 5,199 new cases reported Sunday, for a two-day total of 9,675 additional positive cases of COVID-19. The statewide total is now at 269,613.

On Saturday, there were 38 new deaths reported and 13 additional deaths reported on Sunday for a total of 9,325 deaths as a result of COVID-19.

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Of the 20,985 confirmed coronavirus cases reported between Nov. 1 to Nov. 7, 16% answered the question on whether they spent time at a business 14 days prior to symptoms. Of those 3.000+ who answered:

  • 284 people reported going to a restaurant.
  • 140 people reported going to some other business.
  • 67 people reported going to a bar.
  • 60 people reported going to a gym or fitness center.
  • 39 reported going to a salon or barbershop.

Of those cases, 18.4% said they attended a mass gathering or other large event 14 days prior to onset of symptoms.

Nearly every county in western Pennsylvania is now in the subtantial transmission status. Fayette County is in the moderate category.

There were 500 new cases of COVID-19 and one new death reported Monday in Allegheny County.

According to the Allegheny County Health Department, 450 of the new cases are confirmed cases and 50 are probably cases.

Out of 2,397 tests, that’s an 18.8% positivity rate.

New cases range in age from 5 months to 93 years, with a median age of 40 years. The positive tests were from Nov. 9 to Nov. 15.

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The person who died was in their 70s. They died Saturday.

The age groups of the newly-reported cases are as follows:

  • 0-4: 11
  • 5-12: 13
  • 13-18: 30
  • 19-24: 54
  • 25-49: 220
  • 50-64: 99
  • 65+: 73

Since March 14, there have been 20,526 cases of COVID-19 in Allegheny County residents, 1,656 hospitalizations and 459 deaths.

Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald says we might see some restrictions soon, but nothing to the level of March.

Fitzgerald said this is a trend we’re seeing around the country.

Bottom line is cases are rising, mostly from people getting together informally with family and friends.

Allegheny County Health Director Dr. Debra Bogen is working with Dr. Rachel Levine using contact tracing to see where the biggest problem areas are, but here’s where we could see some restrictions:

  • Possible enforcement of mask wearing in public places (indoors and outdoors if you can’t socially distance)
  • Limitations on social gatherings in public places, indoors and outdoors
  • Strong recommendations about Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah

Fitzgerald said he’s unsure about restrictions at restaurants, store hair/nail salons, but said businesses have been very compliant and the cases aren’t spiking from these.

On Monday, the Steelers told Channel 11 they plan to continue hosting fans for the remainder of the 2020 season, following all policies and protocols to provide a safe environment.

The team’s spokesperson Burt Lauten sent us the following statement:

“At this time, the Steelers plan to continue following the policies and protocols to provide a safe environment to host fans for home games at Heinz Field during the remainder of the 2020 season. We will continue to consult with public health officials on a regular basis to make sure our plans are consistent with approved and up to date protocols.”

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