Allegheny County Health Director Issues “Stay at Home” Advisory
Dr. Debra Bogen says people should only go out for essentials and warns a public health order could be next if COVID-19 cases don't come down.
On the same day Allegheny County set another record for COVID-19 infections, Health Department Director Dr. Debra Bogen did not mince words on what must be done.
“For the past few weeks, I’ve asked people to follow the rules, curtail gatherings and parties, stay home except for essentials and wear masks,” Bogen said during Wednesday’s online press conference. “I’m done asking, and today I’m telling you that these are things we all must do to bring down the level of spread and keep our community safe.”
Bogen issued a countywide stay-at-home advisory and warns that it will be converted to a public health order if case counts continue to rise.
“I’m advising all residents of Allegheny County to stay home, only leaving to go to work or school, or for essential needs, like medical care, getting their medications, groceries or food, and not to have guests at their homes unless their essential workers like childcare or home health aides,” she said. “I’m also advising residents to cancel their traditional Thanksgiving celebrations that may involve members of other households and instead celebrate virtually.”
She cited parents in the Plum School District who organized a dance not sanctioned by the school, calling it unacceptable.
“This level of disregard for the public health of our community, frankly, makes me quite angry and it is disheartening and truly disappointing,” Bogen said.
Making the situation more difficult for contact tracers, as of Wednesday morning, dance organizers had not shared the attendance list with the school or health department.
“I don’t want to enforce this,” she said. “I want people to use their really good personal judgment and make good personal decisions so we never get to the place in our county where we are short on health care workers or don’t have enough beds.”