Allegheny County well being officers don’t have any plans to reinstate masks mandate

Delly Bezoss

Allegheny County well being officers mentioned Wednesday they don’t have any plans to reinstate a masks mandate regionally as officers in Philadelphia did.

“Instances in Allegheny County proceed to be low, significantly when in comparison with the omicron surge in late December and January,” mentioned well being division spokesman Chris Togneri.

He mentioned there isn’t any threshold at which well being Director Dr. Debra Bogen would possibly take into account such a mandate, however he added, “(We) proceed to induce folks to comply with CDC steering on masking and different mitigation measures.”

Togneri mentioned well being officers have “not but detected a rise in whole concentrations” of the virus in wastewater surveillance knowledge.

Steerage by the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention modified considerably earlier this 12 months when officers introduced a brand new approach of calculating the danger posed by the extent of virus in a given county. Almost all Pennsylvania counties are thought-about to have a low degree of threat, per the newest knowledge.

The announcement from Philadelphia well being Commissioner Dr. Cheryl Bettigole got here on Monday as confirmed covid-19 instances there continued to rise. As of Wednesday, the county was reporting slightly below 78 instances per 100,000 residents, up from 54.5 instances per 100,000 residents every week prior.

“If we fail to behave now, figuring out that each earlier wave of infections has been adopted by a wave of hospitalizations, after which a wave of deaths, it is going to be too late for a lot of of our residents,” Bettigole mentioned Monday, noting about 750 Philadelphia residents died within the wintertime omicron outbreak. “That is our likelihood to get forward of the pandemic, to place our masks on till now we have extra details about the severity of this new variant.”

In Allegheny County, instances have risen barely. The seven-day common for the week ending April 5 was 69 instances per 100,000 residents, up from 59 instances per 100,000 residents for the week ending March 29.

As of Wednesday, the newest seven-day common for Allegheny County had risen to about 70 instances per 100,000 residents, based on knowledge from the state well being division.

Hospitalizations, which have develop into the main focus in the case of calculating a county’s threat, stay low. Thirty-nine folks had been hospitalized with covid in Allegheny County on Wednesday, with 5 sufferers in intensive care and two on ventilators, based on state knowledge. In Philadelphia, 63 covid sufferers had been hospitalized, with 11 within the ICU and 6 on ventilators.

The hospitalization charge in Allegheny County is the bottom it’s been since mid-July 2021, knowledge exhibits.

Hospitalizations are likely to lag behind instances by about two weeks, because it takes a while for folks with the virus to succeed in the purpose of needing to be hospitalized. Deaths additionally lag behind.

Allegheny County knowledge present that 33 folks died from covid-19 in March, down from 138 in February and 310 in January. The information listing solely two deaths up to now in April.

Megan Guza is a Tribune-Assessment employees author. You may contact Megan at 412-380-8519, [email protected] or through Twitter .

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