COVID-19 Cases Rising In Allegheny County

COVID-19 cases have been on the rise for the past few weeks in Allegheny County. KDKA's Royce Jones has the details on the county's latest briefing.

Video Transcript

KEN RICE: As we've been reporting, COVID cases have been on the rise for the past few weeks in Allegheny County. The health department just wrapped up a briefing. Royce Jones listened in. He joins us with where things stand right now. Royce.

ROYCE JONES: Ken, good afternoon. Well the director of the Allegheny County Health Department, Dr. Debra Bogen, coming to the podium today with what she's calling bad news regarding the fourth wave of coronavirus infections here in Allegheny County. Several hundred people are testing positive for the virus each day. Among these cases are an increased number of variant strains.

And the positivity rate has reached 9.6, which is up from last week. She also voiced concerns about the possibility for vaccine hesitancy after the CDC called for that pause on distribution of the Johnson & Johnson shot this week following reports of that small percentage of women who suffered serious health conditions from theirs.

DEBRA BOGEN: To my knowledge, no one who was vaccinated locally has suffered any serious health complications related to the Johnson vaccine. As your health department director, I urge you not to view this pause as a signal that our local state or federal vaccination efforts are in any way flawed. Rather, view this response as evidence that the health care officials will do and have done decisive action on even the slightest hint of an issue.

ROYCE JONES: But here's some good news on the COVID front. More than 50% of those 65 and older here have been vaccinated. In total, over 800,000 people in Allegheny County have had their shot, and the county specifically has administered more than 100,000 of those shots as appointments continue to open up.

Now the county says there's also been a very small percentage of breakthrough cases. Those are people who get a vaccine and then test positive for the virus 14 or more days after getting their vaccine. Reporting live, Royce Jones, KDKA News.