Coronavirus Variant Reports Rising In Pa.

The CDC wants to keep an eye on a coronavirus variant originating in the United Kingdom. KDKA's Meghan Schiller has more on what that means for Allegheny County

Video Transcript

- The CDC is keeping an eye on a COVID variant that originated in the United Kingdom. More than 655 cases across Pennsylvania have been reported and seem to be targeting younger people, including here in Allegheny County. Meghan Schiller joins us live now after learning the specific numbers for the county. Megan?

MEGHAN SCHILLER: [? Stacey, ?] it's called the B.1.1.7 variant. And as you mentioned, it originated in the UK. But for some reason, it is spreading rapidly across Pennsylvania, and the case counts for this specific variant are only higher in a couple other states other than Pennsylvania.

Today, it was the subject of discussion on the Allegheny County Health Department's COVID briefing. It definitely came up. And we now know that as of the other day, 75 cases sent out by the health department came back confirmed as a COVID variant. And almost all of them are this B.1.1.7 variant.

Dr. Debra Bogen said the best way to protect yourself against any of these variants is vaccination and vaccinating more people. So the health department is happy with the current status of the new online vaccination site.

DEBRA BOGEN: But I'm pleased to say as of today, we expect to successfully achieve the goal of scheduling everybody or anyone who wants an appointment. And to date, over 20,000 people have successfully used the tool to register for an appointment, and nearly 9,000 are preregistered and waiting to become eligible.

MEGHAN SCHILLER: She said she does not expect the case counts in Allegheny County to decrease, at least expecting over the next couple of weeks, she says. She says the cause of the reason why we have these case counts is because of large gatherings and people not wearing masks. And she says the majority of these people that are having positive cases are people that are not vaccinated. So she's asking for people to hold on for this final push. Reporting live, Meghan Schiller, "KDKA News."