HARRISBURG, Pa. (KDKA) – While Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine says Allegheny County’s percent positivity for coronavirus cases is increasing, there are “no plans” at this time to move the county back to “yellow.”
At a press conference Monday afternoon, Dr. Rachel Levine talked about how the state monitors spikes in coronavirus cases, since testing has increased since the outbreak.
“There are a couple things we look at to differentiate that,” Dr. Levine said. One of those things is percent positivity.
“If we’re testing more asymptomatic people, more and more people, most of whom don’t have COVID-19, we’re going to see that percent positivity of the number of tests go down. When we start to see that go up in a certain region or a certain county, then we’re actually just seeing more cases,” said Dr. Levine.
She pointed to Allegheny County as “the perfect example.”
“It’s only been in the last week, even less than a week, we’ve seen a significant increase in Allegheny County. Our percent positivity started to nudge up, then we had significant discussions with Dr. Bogen.”
The Allegheny County Health Department says over last week, there were 244 new cases reported “overwhelmingly” among younger people out and about traveling, vising bars and going to restaurants.
However, the county health department says they didn’t identify any clusters among travel destinations or activities, and they can’t know exactly when someone contracted the virus.
Myrtle Beach, Houston, Nashville, Miami, Tampa and Naples “came up multiple times” during case investigations.
New cases also told the health department they’d been to bars and restaurants around the county. There were fifteen different bars and restaurants these new coronavirus patients had visited or worked at. Five were reported multiple times.
In response to the surge in coronavirus cases, Allegheny County leaders decided to ban on-site consumption of alcohol — effective immediately.
When asked if the county could go back to the more restrictive reopening phase of yellow, Dr. Levine said, “We have no plans to do that at this time.”