Concerns Surround Private Parties As Coronavirus Cases Spike In Allegheny County

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — As coronavirus cases in Allegheny County increase, hospitalizations are at the highest levels we’ve seen.

On Friday, the Allegheny County Health Department reported 244 new coronavirus cases out of 2,616 test results and 4 additional deaths.

Fortunately, local hospitals are prepared and not overwhelmed by the cases yet. But what is causing the increase? There are growing concerns about private parties.

Marla Fruhlinger has a side job serving and bartending at private events. A recent wedding reception scared her.

“There were approximately 85 people there. No one was social distancing, no one had a mask on. Everyone was sitting together at large tables and large groups,” Fruhlinger said.

Earlier this week, Allegheny County Health Department Director Dr. Debra Bogen confirmed that private gatherings are causing a spike.

“We are continuing to see an increase in people attending private parties,” Dr. Bogen said. “We’re also hearing more cases about people attending weddings, funerals, religious services, gyms or fitness centers.”

And some of those people may be showing up in hospitals. Allegheny County has seen a record number of hospitalizations over the past two days, with 23 on Thursday and 33 on Friday.

Frulingher, who suffers from COPD, has canceled her next wedding job.

“I don’t want to get sick,” she said. “I don’t want to bring it home to my family. I’m around my 82-year-old mother, who also has health issues. I’m just concerned.”

Pennsylvania allows outdoor gatherings of up to 250 people, and people are urged to social distance.