No Immediate Plans For New COVID Restrictions Surrounding Allegheny County

Levine says Numbers, Not Politics, Nixed Restrictions

Joe DeStio
July 13, 2020 - 4:47 pm

    Related: PA Reports Sharp Drop In COVID-19 Cases Monday

    HARRISBURG (Newsradio 1020 KDKA) - Pennsylvania's Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine confirms she had discussions with county commissioners in Beaver, Butler, Washington, and Westmoreland Counties last week about additional targeted COVID-19 mitigation like the bar and restaurant restrictions imposed by Allegheny County.

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    But in a Caronavirus update with reporters Monday, Dr. Levine says the department backed off those plans after looking at the latest numbers and talking with the Governor's office. She denied political pushback by the commissioners changed her plans.

    "We had a robust discussion but none of that influenced our decision," said Levine. "Really it's the day to day numbers that influenced our decision and we decided to hold for the present time."

    In discussions with several news outlets last week including KDKA radio, several commissioners complained bitterly about any additional mitigation.

    In her update for reporters, Dr. Levine said 9% of the state's population has now been tested for COVID-19 or more than 1.1 million people. She says while the rate of positive tests is up in the Southwest, especially Allegheny County, the positive rate statewide has fallen to 4.4%.

    She said in March, the virus first affected younger people but soon spread to the elderly population and nursing and long term care homes where it became deadly. Levine says that pattern could repeat itself with more younger people infected now. She says it comes down to individual choices.

    "We have to adapt our activities to protect against COVID-19. And make the choice to not do some of those activities if they are not safe."

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