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Coronavirus In Pittsburgh: Allegheny County Seeing Substantial Transmission Rate

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - Allegheny County is now seeing a substantial coronavirus transmission rate, according to data from the Pennsylvania Health Department.

The state's Early Warning Monitoring System Dashboard, updated Friday, says Allegheny County has an incidence rate per 100,000 residents of 138.7 over the most recent seven days of data.

A county is considered to have a substantial transmission rate with either an incidence rate greater than or equal to 100 or a percent positivity rate greater than or equal to 10 percent over seven days.

Allegheny County's most recent positivity rate is 7.7 percent.

Saturday was another day of high cases in Allegheny County, reporting 370 new cases as the county nears 20,000 cases in total.

The Pennsylvania Health Department recommends school districts within counties with a substantial transmission rate for at least two weeks transition to virtual learning.

In a Thursday press conference, Allegheny County Health Director Dr. Debra Bogen said there is currently not a plan to put more restrictions in place, but she left the door open if cases continue to rise at an alarming rate.

She added cases per week in Allegheny County have tripled in less than a month.

"The week ending Nov. 6, we had over 1600 cases and a near doubling in one week," she said, "and we are on pace to easily exceed 2000 cases this week."

Bogen is just one health official that has recently expressed concern over the surge in coronavirus cases across the state.

Allegheny Health Network's Dr. Brian Parker expressed a similar concern.

"Ten thousand more cases in the state than the prior seven days," he said. "The positivity rate [statewide] is now at 9.6 percent, which is significantly higher than where we were back in September and early October."

Parker is one of many in the medical field attributing much of the sharp spike to gatherings over the last few weeks.

"It makes good sense that, right now, we're looking at about two weeks out after Halloween," he said. "This being the Saturday two weeks later and we're seeing a pretty significant surge of cases in our region."

There's now growing concern as the holidays draw near.

Many federal, state, and local health officials are asking people to avoid gathering for the holidays.

Some have already started making alternate plans.

"We're supposed to go to Florida to visit my mom, but I don't know if we're going to make it," said Michael Rapino of Hampton. "She was going to come up for Thanksgiving. She canceled her flight."

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