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COVID-19 Cases Declining, But Allegheny County Health Director Urges Caution

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - Allegheny County's COVID-19 cases are declining, but over 200 people have died so far this year.

According to Dr. Debra Bogen, Director, Allegheny County Health Department, the number of COVID-19 infections is on the decline, reaching lows the county has not seen since before the holidays.

The numbers have been dropping consistently over the past three weeks and are now averaging about 1,000 a day.

As of Wednesday, 681 new COVID-19 infections and 51 new deaths were reported to the Health Department in the past 24 hours. One death was from February of last year. Fifty were from January 2022.

There was also a 10 percent drop in the positivity rate this week to about 24 percent.

On the flip side, Dr. Bogen pointed out that many people are feeling less concerned about COVID-19 right now because the Omicron variant is less deadly than previous strains.

But she stressed that people are still dying. So far this year, 236 people have died, according to Dr. Bogen.

She said people still need to be taking the appropriate precautions.

"Many are seniors. Forty-nine of the 236 were living in long-term care. Ninety were age 80 or older. But there are also young people in this group. Thirteen were younger than age 50, 18 were in their 50s," Dr. Bogen said.

Bogen went on to stress that unvaccinated people continue to die disproportionately from COVID-19 in Allegheny County.

Acting Health Secretary Keara Klinepeter was also present during the Health Department's COVID-19 briefing on Wednesday. She reinforced the importance of people getting vaccinated, boosted and tested if they feel sick.

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