Allegheny County and Pennsylvania See Significant Drop in COVID-19 Cases

The number of new infections and hospitalizations continue to decrease, but the death toll remains high.
Sunrise

PHOTO BY DAVE DICELLO

January marked the deadliest month for COVID-19 in Allegheny County since before vaccines became widely available, but the first week of February has reinforced the hope that the omicron surge is nearing its end in Pennsylvania.

The Allegheny County Health Department reports that there were 3,850 coronavirus cases between Jan. 30 and Feb. 5 — a sharp decline from the previous week’s 10,455. In fact, this week’s numbers represent a 63% drop from last week’s; the week before last, there were 11,821, and the week before that, 22,326.

The trend is the same for the rest of the commonwealth, too. Statewide, case counts continue to drop, according to the newest data from the Pennsylvania Department of Health, released yesterday. 

Between Jan. 31 and Feb. 6, the daily average number of cases was 5,487. Between Jan. 24 and Jan. 30, the daily average was 11,405. Between Jan. 17 and Jan. 23, it was 15,294

The number of people currently hospitalized with COVID-19 on Feb. 7 was 25.8% lower than on Jan. 31. This has opened up more adult and pediatric ICU beds for other health issues in the state. 

“Weekly COVID-19 trends in Pennsylvania are continuing to move in the right direction,” Acting Secretary of Health Keara Klinepeter said in a statement. “Continuing this trend requires a combination of simple prevention measures, personal responsibility and prompt action. Get vaccinated and boosted; wear a mask indoors regardless of vaccination status; get tested and stay home when you don’t feel well, and seek appropriate treatment when you’re sick.”

Hospitalizations continue to decrease, too. This week, there were 230 county residents hospitalized with COVID-19. Last week, there were 580, and the week before that, 495. 

But even as case counts continue to fall throughout the county and state, the death toll remains high; Allegheny County reported 75 new deaths between Jan. 30 and February 5. During the first week of January, there were 80 deaths reported. 

Last month’s total count of people who died of virus-related complications was 243 — up from the county’s initial estimate of 236.

At last week’s county press briefing, Health Department Director Debra Bogen stressed that most deaths and serious illnesses were among unvaccinated people.

“This is a true tragedy,” Bogen said last Wednesday. “Many of the people died prematurely from what has now become primarily a vaccine-preventable death.

To date, there have been 254,654 infections, 2,990 deaths and 12,552 hospitalizations reported in Allegheny County residents. 

As of Feb. 7, 808,279 county residents have been fully vaccinated, and 385,474 have received a booster dose. An additional 149,900 have been partially vaccinated.

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