State and local coronavirus cases are on the rise again, an increase likely due to the Delta variant.
The most infectious strain of coronavirus has been circulating in Allegheny County since at least March, according to county health officials. Despite this fact, cases have continued to decline in the Pittsburgh area for several months.
But from July 9 to 15, there were 132 newly confirmed coronavirus cases in Allegheny County, more than double the number of cases reported in the previous week.
The percentage of positive coronavirus test results is also increasing. Among highly accurate PCR tests, 1.9% of samples returned positive for the virus, which is nearly double the rate seen last month.
Statewide, confirmed cases and PCR tests are also on the rise. From July 9 to 15, 1,480 Pennsylvanians were infected with the virus. This is almost 40% compared to the previous week. The PCR rate fell from 1.2% to 1.7%.
Hospitalizations statewide are down. But these markers of severe illness usually start to increase within weeks of an increase in the number of cases.
While there are cases of fully vaccinated people contracting the coronavirus, the overwhelming majority of COVID-19-related hospitalizations and deaths in the United States are now in unvaccinated people. For this reason, public health and health officials continue to urge people to get vaccinated against COVID.
Nationally, 48.6% of the total population is vaccinated. In Pennsylvania and Allegheny County, the rates are 51.3% and 54.6%, respectively.