Pa. sees increase in COVID cases, most local counties considered substantial community spread

PITTSBURGH — Pennsylvania has seen a three-day total of more than 3,000 new COVID-19 cases, the Department of Health said Monday. In fact, most local counties are now considered to be substantial when it comes to risk of community spread.

Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Indiana Lawrence, and Washington counties are all now in the substantial risk for community spread. Armstrong County was considered in the high-risk category over the weekend, but has now moved back to the substantial-risk category.

Westmoreland, Fayette, Greene and Mercer counties remain at moderate levels.

The Centers for Disease Control has a map to keep track of areas where there is a high or substantial community spread, and specific county information can be found here.

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Over the past three days, 3,019 positive cases were reported, bringing the statewide total to 1,227,519.

There are 507 people hospitalized with COVID-19, and 104 of those patients are in the intensive care unit.

The trend in the 14-day moving average number of hospitalized patients continues to increase.

Seven new deaths were reported from July 30 to Aug. 1.

This is the COVID-19 Update from the Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) for August 2, 2021. In the last 72...

Posted by Allegheny County Health Department on Monday, August 2, 2021

In the last 72 hours, 320 new cases were reported in Allegheny County, according to the health department. There were no new deaths reported.

Those numbers are substantially higher than in recent weeks and come after cases had been steadily declining.

Just two weeks ago, Allegheny County was seeing an average of 27 COVID-19 cases per day, which increased to 58 per day as of last Monday, and today to 106 new cases per day, which is a 290% increase.

State health leaders said despite this, they will not be reinstating a mask mandate, but encourage Pennsylvanians to follow CDC guidance, adding that businesses and local governments may adopt stricter COVID-19 prevention strategies if they feel it’s needed.

ACMH Hospital in Kittanning is reporting more hospitalizations, with seven COVID-19 patients right now and the majority of them are unvaccinated. A week and a half ago they had zero COVID-19 patients.

This is how fast things are changing.

Elaine Long and her husband Jim live in Kittanning and are both concerned.

“I feel people got more relaxed more open doing more things and then we started to spike again,” Elaine said.

That’s why they plan to wear a mask at the Fort Armstrong Folk Festival this weekend, even though they’re vaccinated. Organizers today were setting up for the four-day event that’s expected to attract about 80,000 people.

“Maybe we should be a little bit safer and if we feel that we — even though we are vaccinated — wear a mask in situations while we are out among a lot of people cause we really don’t know who has had their vaccinations and who hasn’t,” Elaine said.

Small business owners are also worried this will cause yet another shutdown.

“I didn’t really even know Armstrong County was that bad with the covid so that’s definitely not going to be a good thing for small businesses in this town,” Wick City Saloon owner Chris Bowers said.

He’s worried this will lead to another round of restrictions right when his business was starting to pick up.

“Now its going to hit us again, I mean for small businesses that’s tough that’s going to be tough,” he said.