Tracing Source of COVID is a 50/50 Proposition

In Allegheny County, contact tracers are 50% successful in finding the source of new cases of the coronavirus.
Contact Tracing


When it comes to new cases of COVID-19 in Allegheny County, 50% of the time the source is community spread. In those cases, Health Department Director Dr. Debra Bogen says, infected people don’t know where they contracted the virus. In cases where the source is determined, contact tracers say the virus often is spreading during outdoor parties where mask-wearing and social distancing among family and friends aren’t observed.

“Even in your own back yard with your own friends and family please follow the advice while staying physically distant, but socially connected,” County Executive Rich Fitzgerald said during the briefing with Dr. Bogen.

If you’re going to the Steelers’ game Sunday at Heinz Field, Bogen suggests fans sit with household members, wear a mask and keep their distance from other fans.

The number of cases in Allegheny County is creeping up. During the first week of September, the average daily number of cases was 58. That number increased to 78 in the first week of October.

Looking ahead to trick-or-treating on Halloween, Bogen suggests children go out with small pods of families rather than in a large group. Bogen also endorsed guidelines put out by the city of Pittsburgh that include:

  • Wear cloth face masks with Halloween masks
  • Carry hand sanitizer
  • Distribute candy by leaving it outside to prevent in-person and face-to-face interactions at the door
  • Keep socially distance on sidewalks, and when approaching homes where others are getting candy
  • Do not attend indoor costume parties


Categories: The 412