COVID-19 cases continue spiking in Westmoreland County

Spike in COVID-19 cases in Westmoreland County having significant impact on schools

GREENSBURG, Pa. — COVID-19 cases continue spiking in Westmoreland County, with 86 reported in the last two days. That follows a week of double and triple digit increases.

“We have health issues so I really have to be careful,” Sandra Lee said. “My friend and I were talking about that yesterday. It’s like why now? It’s crazy because we didn’t have that many.”

Like many people, Lee is concerned about the recent spike in cases in Westmoreland County, which saw nearly 500 cases in the last week.

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Leaders said they can’t point to any events or changes that have caused the spike. It’s having a major impact on schools with Derry Area, Greensburg-Salem and Hempfield all having at least one school closed this week. Norwin closed for several days last week due to cases as well.

Only 20% of the cases are linked to nursing homes, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

“They’re doing everything they possibly can to mitigate any of the spread they’re seeing. I can’t attribute it to schools or anything else. It’s a community spread like any other virus that’s happening,” Westmoreland County Public Safety Director Bud Mertz said. “We have a lot of different reasons that we believe the numbers are up. But you can’t deny there’s a community spread. There always has been.”

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