Allegheny County begins releasing race data on coronavirus deaths, hospitalizations
OFFICIALS FROM ALLEGHENY COUNTY HOLDING THEIR WEEKLY COVID-19 BRIEFING. KELLY: LET’S LISTEN IN.>> THAT IS THE KIND OF MASK WE ARE ASKING PEOPLE TO WEAR WHEN THEY GO TO THESE PLACES. IF YOU NEED TO KNOW HOW TO DO THAT, THE COUNTY WEBPAGE AND THE STATES WEBPAGE CONTAIN INFORMATION ON HOW TO MAKE A HOMEMADE MASK. THERE ARE ALSO NUMEROUS TUTORIALS IF YOU GOOGLE MASKS THAT ARE AVAILABLE ONLINE. WE ALSO RECOGNIZE THAT NOT EVERYONE HAS THE RESOURCES RIGHT NOW AND I’M GRATEFUL TO OUR DEPARTMENT AND SERVICES AND ALL OF OUR PARTNERS WHO ARE WORKING TO ENSURE THAT EVERYONE IN OUR COMMUNITY GETS THE ESSENTIALS THEY NEED. IF YOU ARE IN NEED OF HELP, PLEASE DIAL 211. OR VISIT RESOURCES AVAILABLE ON THE CORONA COUNTY WEBSITE AT WWW. ALLEGHENYCOUNTY /CORONAVIRUS. SINCE OUR LAST BRIEFING, WE RECEIVED NEWS THAT THERE WERE ADDITIONAL CASES OF COVID-19 IN COMMUNITY LIVING CENTERS AND IN THE ALLEGHENY COUNTY JAIL. AS WE SET A WEEK AGO, WE EXPECTED COVID-19 WOULD SOON IMPACT NOT ONLY COUNTY FACILITIES BUT THE ENTIRE REGION . WE ARE IN THE MIDDLE OF A CRISIS HERE. WE ARE FOCUSED ON DOING EVERYTHING WE CAN TO MAKE SURE THAT OUR RESIDENTS ARE SAFE. I COULD NOT BE MORE PROUD OF THE WORK OUR EMPLOYEES ARE DOING EACH AND EVERY DAY, WORKING TIRELESSLY ON BEHALF OF ALL THE RESIDENS OF THE COUNTY. THESE DEDICATED EMPLOYEES ARE WORKING TIRELESSLY AND COMMITTED TO SERVING THE PUBLIC IN ALL THAT THEY DO. THE COUNTY HAS ALL HANDS ON DECK SO THAT WE CAN BE RESPONSIBLE — RESPONDING QUICKLY TO ALL DEVELOPMENTS IN INFORMATION. IT IS INTEGRAL TO OUR RESPONSE IN THE SERVICE WE PROVIDE TO KEEP PEOPLE SAFE IN THE JAILS. I WANT TO THANK ALL OF THE EMPLOYEES WHO CONTINUE TO WORK. YOUR TRULY PUBLIC SERVANTS. I WANT TO CONTINUE TO EMPHASIZE THE PHYSICAL DISTANCING WE ARE ASKING RESIDENTS TO DO. WE WANT TO MAKE SURE PEOPLE ARE ABLE TO GET OUT AND RE-CREATE — AND DO RECREATION, BUT KEEP THAT PHYSICAL DISTANCE. WE HAVE SIGNS UP TO REMIND YOU. WE HAVE BEEN AT THIS A NUMBER OF WEEKS. I CAN TELL YOU SO FAR, THE NUMBERS HAVE BEEN VERY, VERY POSITIVE. WHEN YOU LOOK AROUND THE STATE AND AROUND THE COUNTRY, ALLEGHENY, PENNSYLVANIA, HAS REALLY DONE A YEOMAN’S JOB WITH ALL OF US COMING TOGETHER. I WANT TO ALSO THANK OUR HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH, HERITAGE ST. CLAIR AND THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT. THE COOPERATION WE HAVE SEEN THROUGHOUT THIS COUNTY AND THROUGHOUT THIS REGION IS REALLY INSPIRING. WE WANT TO KEEP FLATTENING THE CURVE SO WE CAN ALL GET BACK TO WHERE WE WANT TO BE IN OUR NORMAL LIVES, WHATEVER NORMAL IS GOING TO BE WHEN WE COME OUT OF THIS. THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT IS DOING A FANTASTIC JOB. I WANT TO TURN IT OVER TO DR. BERGEN’S.>> THANK YOU VERY MUCH COUNTY EXECUTIVE FITZGERALD. FIRST, I WANT TO TALK TO YOU ABOUT HOSPITALIZATIONS AND DEATHS. AS OF TODAY, WE HAVE 721 CONFIRMED CASES, ONE HUNDRED 31 HOSPITALIZATIONS AND 10 DEATHS. WE ARE CAUTIOUSLY OPTIMISTIC ABOUT THE SLOW RISE OF CASES IN OUR COUNTY. WE CONTINUE TO TEST ABOUT 500-600 PEOPLE A DAY AND ABOUT 10% OF THE TEST’S COME BACK POSITIVE. WE KNOW THESE ARE ONLY THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE WHO HAVE TESTED AND TEST POSITIVE. A NUMBER OF PEOPLE WHO HAVE SHOWN SYMPTOMS ARE NOT BEING TESTED. THERE ARE PEOPLE WHO HAVE THE VIRUS WHO ARE NOT SHOWING SYMPTOMS. IT APPEARS THAT ISOLATION AND PHYSICAL DISTANCING AS WELL AS THE MEASURES THE GOVERNOR AND ALL OF US HAVE ASKED YOU TO DO IS HAVING AN IMPACT. ALL OF THESE TOGETHER SEEM TO HAVE CONTRIBUTED TO THE RELATIVELY LOW NUMBER OF CASES, HOSPITALIZATIONS, AND DEATHS. WANT TO THANK THE COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT TEAM, INCLUDING A TEAM OF MEDICAL STUDENTS FROM PITTSBURGH. WE ARE FOLLOWING UP ON EACH CASE AND THEIR CONTACTS WHO MAY HAVE BEEN EXPOSED. WE BELIEVE THIS IS KEY TO SLOWING THE SPREAD. THE COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT TEAM HAS REALLY STAYED COMMITTED. WE MUST KEEP UP THESE EFFORTS AND STAY VIGILANT TO GIVE US THE BEST OPPORTUNITY TO CONTINUE THIS TREND. ANDREW: OK, YOU HAVE BEEN LISTENING TO THE COUNTY EXECUTIVES COVID TASK FORCE BRIEFING THIS AFTERNOON. WE ARE HAVING SOME TECHNICAL PROBLEMS, AS YOU CAN SEE. THE AUDIO IS NOT WHAT WE WOULD LIKE IT TO BE. ACTUALLY, THE AUDIO IS WORKING. LET’S GO BACK TO THE BRIEFING.>> TO BEAT THE PANDEMIC AND BEGIN TO THINK ABOUT REOPENING OUR COUNTY. WE WANT TO EMPHASIZE THAT IT IS TOO SOON TO LET UP. WE ARE AWARE OF CASES AT NURSING HOMES AND CARE CENTERS ACROSS THE COUNTY, INCLUDING RECENTLY CONFIRMED CASES AMONG INMATES IN THE JAIL. WE ARE WATCHING THESE CASES CLOSELY AND WILL DO WHAT WE CAN TO CONTROL THE SPREAD OF THE VIRUS. WE WILL SHARE THE LATEST GUIDANCE FROM THE CDC, STATE HEALTH DEPARTMENT, AND STAFF TO PROTECT ALL THOSE IN THESE FACILITIES. ADDITIONAL PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT WAS DELIVERED TO FACILITIES IN THE JAIL OVER — AND THE JAIL OVER THE WEEKEND. YOU LIKELY HEARD THE NEWS IN THE LAST FIVE — LAST FEW DAYS ABOUT COVID-19 AND RACE. I JUST WANT TO BE CLEAR THAT THIS MATTERS TO US AND IS IMPORTANT. LOOKING AT DATA BY RACE IS IMPORTANT BECAUSE WE KNOW THAT COMMUNITIES OF COLOR ALREADY HAVE POOR HEALTH OUTCOMES IN ALLEGHENY COUNTY AND WE NEED TO KNOW IF COVID-19 IS AFFECTING THESE COMMUNITIES TO A GREATER DEGREE. DR. LEVINE SET ON TUESDAY THAT STATEWIDE DATA ON RACE IS DEPENDENT ON WHAT INFORMATION IS AVAILABLE, AND WE HAVE THE SAME CHALLENGE IN ALLEGHENY COUNTY. NEITHER OUR HEALTH SYSTEMS OR OUR LABORATORIES ROUTINELY PROVIDE DATA ON RACE IN OUR REPORTING SYSTEM. LESS THAN HALF OF OUR COVID CASES IN ALLEGHENY COUNTY CONTAIN INFORMATION ON RACE. WE DON’T WANT TO PUBLISH INFORMATION THAT COULD BE INCOMPLETE. HOWEVER, OUR STAFF IS WORKING TO INTEGRATE THIS INTO OUR REPORTS. IN AN EFFORT TO PROVIDE YOU MORE INFORMATION, WE ARE LAUNCHING A DASHBOARD THAT PROVIDES MORE DATA. IT IS ON THE COUNTY’S WEBSITE AND IS ACCESSIBLE THROUGH THE COVID-19 INFORMATION PAGE AND IT SHOWS THE FOLLOWING DATA, CASE COUNT AND RACE BY MUNICIPALITY IN THE CITY OF PITTSBURGH. THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE HOSPITALIZED AND THE PERCENTAGE OF PATIENTS IN THE ICU OR ON VENTILATORS. HOSPITALIZATIONS IS LIKELY UNDERREPORTED. IF SOMEONE IS HOSPITALIZED OR RELEASED WE MIGHT NOT KNOW. WE ARE WORKING ON THESE NUMBERS. WE WILL CONTINUE TO PUT INFORMATION ON THE ALLEGHENY WEBSITE AND FACEBOOK PAGE. FINALLY, A REMINDER FROM PENNSYLVANIA’S FIRST LADY. YOU CAN HELP BY VOLUNTEERING AND BY FOLLOWING THE STAY-AT-HOME ORDERS. WE ASK THAT PEOPLE MAINTAIN PHYSICAL DISTANCE WHILE VOLUNTEERING. VOLUNTEER ON YOUR OWN, LOOK FOR VOLUNTEERS IN SMALL GROUPS. WE WANT PEOPLE WHO VOLUNTEERED TO STAY SAFE. ANOTHER WAY TO LET US KNOW HOW YOU ARE DOING IS TO PARTICIPATE WITH THE UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURG AND OTHERS WHO ARE DISTRIBUTING A FAMILY STRENGTHS SURVEY TO FIND OUT HOW FAMILIES ARE DOING, WHAT RESOURCES THEY NEED, AND WHAT RESOURCES THEY ARE USING. IT IS ANONYMOUS AND IT TAKES ABOUT SIX MINUTES TO COMPLETE. THE WEBSITE IS HE TEATRO X. — PEDIATRI .PITT.EDU/FAMILY-STRENGTHS-SURVE Y.>> THE FIRST QUESTION IS FROM KATIE K TELEVISION. ARE WE BEGINNING TO END THE CURVE IN — KDK TELEVISION. ARE WE BEGINNING TO END THE CURVE IN ALLEGHENY COUNTY? ARE THE NUMBER OF CASES BEGINNING TO PLATEAU OR DECLNE?>> I WOULD SAY WE ARE CAUTIOUSLY OPTIMISTIC THAT WE ARE STARTING TO SEE A TREND IN THAT DIRECTION. I DON’T KNOW THAT WE HAVE ENOUGH DATA YET. WE ARE CAUTIOUSLY OPTIMISTIC THAT WE ARE SEEING SOME POSITIVE RESULTS. TODAY, WE WENT UP 31 CASES. THAT IS NOT MANY MORE THAN WE HAVE GONE UP EVEN A WEEK OR TWO AGO, SO WE DON’T SEE A BIG SPIKE IN THE NUMBER OF CASES GOING UP. WHAT I TAKE FROM THAT IS THAT SOCIAL DISTANCING THAT EVERYBODY HAS BEEN DOING AND THE STAY-AT-HOME ORDERS THAT THE GOVERNOR AND HEALTH DEPARTMENT HAVE INDICATED ARE STARTING TO WORK. THE LAST THING WE WANT TO DO IS TAKE OUR FOOT OFF THE GAS AT THIS POINT. WE WANT TO CONTINUE THAT, AND HOPEFULLY THE NUMBERS WILL CONTINUE IN THAT DIRECTION.>> THE NEXT QUESTION IS FROM THE POST-GAZETTE. WHAT PREPARATIONS ARE BEING MADE FOR THE RELEASE OF PRISONERS FROM ALLEGHENY JAIL TO PREVENT THE SALE — SPREAD OF COVID-19?>> THAT IS AN ISSUE WE HAVE BEEN FOCUSED ON SINCE MARCH 18. I WANT TO THANK OUR PUBLIC DEFENDER AND HIS TEAM AND THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICE. THEY REALLY BEGAN GOING THROUGH THE MOTIONS — I THINK I HAVE THAT TERM RIGHT. THUS FAR, ROUGHLY 900 INMATES HAVE BEEN RELEASED SINCE THAT TIME. GOING THROUGH ON A CASE-BY-CASE BASIS. THEY ARE GOING THROUGH THAT, AND THE WORK THAT TEAM HAS BEEN DOING HAS REALLY HAD A GREAT IMPACT. I KNOW THEY ARE CONTINUING THAT EFFORT EVERY DAY AND THEY WILL CONTINUE ALONG THOSE LINES.>> THE NEXT QUESTION IS FROM W ESA. DOES THE COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT HAVE A ROLE TO PLAY IN COUNTERING THE OUTBREAK AT THE NURSING HOME, AND IF SO, WHAT MEASURES ARE BEING TAKEN?>> SO THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT, THIS IS AN ISSUE ACROSS OUR REGION, ACROSS OUR COUNTRY. WE DON’T, AT THE COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT, OVERSEE THOSE FACILITIES, BUT WE DO PROVIDE THE LATEST INFORMATION TO THOSE FACILITIES ON HOW TO PREVENT THE SPREAD AT THOSE FACILITIES.>> IN THE LAST MONTH AND A HALF, HAS THE MEDICAL EXAMINER SEEN AN UPTICK IN MEDICALLY UNTENDED DEATHS?>> THAT’S A QUESTION WE WOULD HAVE TO REFER TO THE MEDICAL EXAMINER. THAT’S SOMETHING WE COULD FOLLOW UP ON.>> FROM WTAE, WHAT DO YOU WANT RESIDENTS OF CARE HOMES AND EMPLOYEES OF THOSE HOMES TO KNOW ABOUT THE COUNTY’S EFFORTS TO KEEP THEM SAFE?>> AGAIN, WE HAVE BEEN PROVIDING THEM THE BEST INFORMATION WE CAN ON HOW TO QUARANTINE AND ISOLATE PATIENTS, PROTECT STAFF WITH EQUIPMENT, AND PROVIDE — EMERGENCY SERVICES IS PROVIDING THEM WITH PPE AS NEEDED. THAT IS OUR ROLE AS THE COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT.>> THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT HAS PUT OUT A LOT OF GREAT INFORMATION FOR A LOT OF DIFFERENT FACILITIES AND WORKPLACES TO FOLLOW ALONG WITH THE SECRETARY OF STATE AND THE STATE HEALTH DEPARTMENT. I THINK IN COLLABORATION WITH BOTH ORGANIZATIONS, THE COOPERATION WOULD SEEM TO GET THAT INFORMATION OUT THERE AND MAKE IT READILY AVAILABLE SO THESE FACILITIES CAN SEE WHAT ACTIONS THEY SHOULD TAKE, DISTANCING, PROPER PROTOCOL, THOSE TYPES OF THINGS. IT HAS BEEN VERY, VERY HELPFUL.>> THERE ARE NUMBER OF AND FUTURE — A NUMBER OF QUESTIONS REGARDING THE CASE ANNOUNCED AT THE JAIL TODAY AND WHAT STEPS ARE BEING TAKEN.>> WE HAVE STOPPED RESTRICTIVE LEGAL VISITS. THAT WAS WITH COURT APPROVAL. ACTIVE SCREENING WHEN PEOPLE GO IN. TEMPERATURE TAKING AND OTHER TESTS ALONG THOSE LINES. ASKING QUESTIONS REGARDING WHERE PEOPLE LIVE, IF THEY HAVE RESPIRATORY ISSUES. SO, THE WARDEN IS FOLLOWING ALL THE GUIDELINES OF THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT AND THE CDC, AND THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH.>> HOW MANY IN-PERSON POLLING PLACES WILL BE PROVIDED FOR THE JUNE 2 ELECTION AND HOW WILL THE COUNTY AVOID A SITUATION WHERE THERE ARE NOT ENOUGH GOING PLACES AND OVERCROWDING COULD CREATE A HEALTH RISK?>> THAT IS SOMETHING WE ARE WORKING ON. A LOT OF US SAW WHAT HAPPENED IN WISCONSIN YESTERDAY AND HAVE SOME CONCERNS. I HAVE HAD DISCUSSIONS WITH STATE LEADERS TO S. WE HAVE AN ELECTION IN A LITTLE UNDER EIGHT WEEKS. WE ARE IN RAGING PEOPLE TO VOTE BY ME — WE ARE ENCOURAGING PEOPLE TO VOTE BY MAIL. YOU CAN DO THAT NOW. IT IS A CONCERN. WE ARE WORKING WITH THE TEAM FOR THE BEST RECOMMENDATIONS. WE WANT TO MAKE SURE WE PROTECT OUR DEMOCRACY SO THAT EVERYBODY WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO VOTE CAN VOT . WE OBVIOUSLY WANT TO MAKE SURE THE VOTERS AND POLL WORKERS, WHO WORKED TIRELESSLY — AGAIN, THESE ARE FOLKS WHO ARE GREAT CITIZENS, WHO DO THIS WORK FOR ALL THE RIGHT REASONS, WHO SAT THERE FOR HOURS AND PROCESS PEOPLE WHO GO TO VOTE, WE ARE WORKING ON A PLAN, AND HOPEFULLY, NEXT WEEK WE WILL HAVE COME UP WITH SOMETHING.>> HOW MANY HOSPITAL BEDS DO WE HAVE IN THE SOUTHWESTERN REGION, HOW MANY BEDS WILL BE NEEDED AT PEAK SURGE, AND HOW MANY ARE FULL RIGHT NOW?>> WE HAVE THAT DATA KEPT EVERY DAY AS PART OF OUR EMERGENCY SERVICES PLAN. I CAN TELL YOU WE HAVE PLENTY OF AVAILABILITY OF HOSPITAL BEDS, ICU BEDS AND VENTILATORS IN OUR REGION. THERE IS NO CONCERN ABOUT THAT AT THIS POINT IN OUR REGION.>> AT THIS POINT, THAT IS WHY WE ARE TRYING TO DO ALL TH STEPS EVERYBODY IN THE REGION IS TAKING. WE HAVE SEEN A LOT OF SUCCESS ALONG THOSE LINES. THAT DOES NOT MEAN IF WE LET UP THAT WEEKS FROM NOW IT COULDN’T GO THE OTHER WAY. WE ARE MAKING PLANS, OBVIOUSLY, TO HAVE THE PREPARATION AND COOPERATION WE HAVE SEEN WITH OUR HEALTH CARE FACILITIES. THEY ARE MAKING PLANS THAT HOPEFULLY WE NEVER HAVE TO SEE.>> I AM GOING TO LUMP SOME RELATED QUESTIONS TOGETHER HERE. CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE GOVERNOR’S ORDER TODAY FOR HOW SYSTEMS MANUFACTURERS AND OTHERS COMMANDEER — THEIR WORDS — PPE . DO YOU AGREE WITH THAT AND HOW WILL IT IMPACT RESPONSE? AND HOW DOES IT IMPACT WHAT WE HAVE HEARD LOCALLY ABOUT THE NEED FOR PPE AT FACILITIES, THE JAIL, AND HOSPITALS?>> THOSE ARE A COUPLE OF DIFFERENT QUESTIONS WRAPPED TOGETHER. WHEN WE ARE TALKING ABOUT VENTILATORS AND SUCH, I THINK THE GOVERNOR WANTS TO MAKE SURE THAT THOSE RESOURCES ARE MOVED TO WHERE THEY ARE NEEDED MOST. THERE OTHER PARTS OF THE STATE THAT HAVE MUCH HIGHER NUMBERS, MUCH MORE ACUTE RESPONSES TO THE VIRUS. I THINK THE GOVERNOR IS RIGHT TO TRY TO MANEUVER AND MOVE THE NEEDED EQUIPMENT OVER THERE. WHEN IT COMES TO PPE, THAT IS MORE BALANCED BECAUSE YOU NEED THOSE IN ALL FACILITIES. WE TALKED ABOUT NURSING HOMES AND FACILITIES IN WHICH FOLKS ARE ENCLOSED, COMMUNAL LIVING CENTERS, THOSE TYPES OF THINGS. FOR THOSE WHO ARE FIRST RESPONDERS, GROCERY STORE CLERKS AND WORKERS, THEY STILL NEED THE PPE EVERY BIT AS MUCH. THOSE ARE TWO DIFFERENT AREAS WE ARE TALKING ABOUT.>> I AGREE. THIS QUESTION AGAIN FROM WTAE. CAN THE COUNTY EXECUTIVE PLEASE ADDRESS THE MOOD OF THE COUNTY? IT SEEMS LIKE EVERY HOUSEHOLD HAS GOOD DAYS, BAD DAYS, GOOD MOMENTS, CHALLENGING MOMENTS. HOW CAN WE KEEP OUR SPIRITS UP?>> THAT IS A GREAT QUESTION. IT HAPPENS IN EVERY HOUSEHOLD, INCLUDING THE FITZGERALD HOUSEHOLD. WE WANT TO RETURN TO WHAT WE WOULD VIEW AS OUR NORMAL LIFE, PARTICULARLY AS SPRINGTIME COMES UP AND THE WEATHER GETS NICER AND PEOPLE WANT TO BE OUT. I THINK WE ALSO REALIZE THAT THIS IS A STRUGGLE AND WE HAVE TO PERSEVERE. THIS IS A WAR AGAINST A VIRUS, NOT AGAINST A FOREIGN ENEMY LIKE WE HAVE TRADITIONALLY SEEN. I THINK PEOPLE HAVE RALLIED VERY WELL. THEY HAVE ENCOURAGED THEIR CHILDREN AND THE SENIORS TO STAY PHYSICALLY DISCONNECTED BUT TO BE CONNECTED SOCIALLY. TECHNOLOGY HAS ALLOWED US TO DO WHAT WE WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN ABLE TO DO A NUMBER OF YEARS AGO. FROM MINUTE TO MINUTE OR DAY TODAY, OUR MOODS WILL CHANGE ON WHERE WE SEE THIS GOING. BUT FOR THE MOST PART, PEOPLE OF PITTSBURGH ARE PRAGMATIC AND FOLLOW THE ADVICE OF EXPERTS. THAT’S WHAT WE ARE DOING IN THIS CASE AND WE WILL HAVE TO CONTINUE ALONG THIS WAY.>> WE WOULD LIKE BOTH OF YOU TO ANSWER THE SAME QUESTION.>> THE MOOD IS UP-AND-DOWN IN OUR HOME AS WELL. OUR MOOD IS WORSE WHEN THE SUN COMES OUT AND WE ALL WANT TO BE OUTSIDE. THERE ARE PEOPLE WHO ARE STRUGGLING AT HOME, AND I WANT TO REMIND PEOPLE THAT THERE ARE GREAT RESOURCES IN OUR COMMUNITY. WE ARE VERY FORTUNATE TO HAVE EMERGENCY HOTLINES. IF PEOPLE ARE FEELING REALLY BLUE AND NOT JUST HAVING AN UP-AND-DOWN DAY, CALL THE HOTLINE. CALL YOUR HEALTH PROFESSIONALS. IF YOU SUFFER WITH MORE SIGNIFICANT MOOD DISORDERS, PLEASE REACH OUT.>> THIS QUESTION IS FROM THE CAUCUS. CAN YOU EXPAND ON HOW AND WHY CONTACT TRACING HAS KEPT DOWNWARD PRESSURE ON THE VIRUS’S SPREAD IN THE COUNTY AND WHETHER THE EFFORT MIGHT BE WRECKED CLICKABLE — MIGHT BE REPLICABLE IN COUNTIES WITHOUT A HEALTH DEPARTMENT.>> AFTER WE IDENTIFY A CASE, WE ASK THEM WHO THEY HAVE BEEN IN CONTACT WITH, AND RECOMMENDATIONS ARE FOR THE 48 HOURS AFTER THEY GOT SICK AND FURTHER ON BECAUSE WE RECOGNIZE THIS COULD BE SPREAD BEFORE YOU HAVE SYMPTOMS. WE THINK IT ENCOURAGES PEOPLE TO FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS. IF IT’S NICE OUTSIDE, PEOPLE WANT TO GO OUTSIDE. CONTACT TRACING ALLOWS US TO SAY HERE IS WHAT WE KNOW. HERE IS THE INFORMATION YOU SHOULD BE LIVING BY AND HERE ARE THE RESOURCES. THE MORE WE CONTINUE TO DO THAT, IT FEELS PERSONAL TO THAT PERSON , AND THEY FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS A LITTLE MORE CLOSELY. OUR EPIDEMIOLOGISTS HAVE BEEN REALLY STAYING ON THAT, AND I BELIEVE IT WILL IMPACT OUR COMMUNITY. IN TERMS OF OTHER COMMUNITIES, I WILL HAVE TO LEAVE THAT FOR OTHER PEOPLE BECAUSE I DON’T KNOW THE LAY OF THE LAND ACROSS THE STATE VERY WELL BUT THAT IS WHAT WE’RE DOING HERE AND I ENCOURAGE OTHERS TO DO IT AS WELL.>> WE ARE FORTUNATE THAT WE HAVE A HEALTH DEPARTMENT AS YOU MENTIONED. NOT ALL COUNTIES TO — DO. THE FACT THAT WE HAVE THESE PROFESSIONALS GIVING US VERY SOLID ADVICE ON HOW TO GET THROUGH THIS IS A BENEFIT WE HAVE AN ALLEGHENY COUNTY THAT I AM VERY THANKFUL FOR.>> LAST MONTH, THE COUNTY SAID IT WAS IDENTIFYING POTENTIAL QUARANTINE SITES. WHERE ARE THESE LOCATIONS AND UNDER WHAT CIRCUMSTANCES WOULD SOMEONE BE QUARANTINED? LIKEWISE, SOME MUNICIPALITIES HAVE PLACED HOMELESS PEOPLE IN UNUSED HOTEL ROOMS EACH ALLOWS THEM TO SELF-ISOLATE. IS ALLEGHENY COUNTY CONSIDERING THIS? WAX ON THE SECOND PART, WE ARE WORKING ON THAT, HOW TO DEAL WITH THE HOMELESS POPULATION. THAT GROUP OF FOLKS WHO CERTAINLY HAVE CHALLENGES. ON THE FIRST, WE ARE WORKING ON THAT BUT I DON’T THINK THE WILL BE REVEALING THOSE SPECIFIC SITES. THE EMERGENCY SERVICES WOULD BE DOING THAT.>> THAT’S MY UNDERSTANDING AS WELL. THERE IS AVAILABILITY CURRENTLY THEY ARE BEING UTILIZED IF THEY NEED IT.>> MANY NURSES AND DOCTORS ARE WORRIED ABOUT BRINGING COVID-19 HOME WITH THEM AND INADVERTENTLY AFFECTING THEIR FAMILIES. SHOULD THEY BE SEPARATING THEMSELVES FROM THEIR FAMILIES?>> I DO NOT WANT TO SPEAK OUT OF TURN BECAUSE I DON’T HAVE THE INFORMATION AT THE TIP OF MY HANDS, BUT I UNDERSTAND SOME FACILITIES MAY BE DOING THAT. I WOULD REFER THEM TO HOSPITAL FACILITIES THEMSELVES TO ASK.>> WE HAVE TIME FOR ONE LAST QUESTION ASKING WHETHER THERE SWITCH ONLY THING THAT I WILL SAY AS I THINK IN SOME OF THE TESTIMONY IN SOME OF THE WRITTEN THING THINGS THAT THIS IS A LAWSUIT ACROSS THE ENTIRE COMMONWEALTH AMONG ALL COUNTIES. ALLEGHENY COUNTY IS ACTUALLY BEEN POINTED OUT AS BEING KIND OF AN EXAMPLE OF BEING PROACTIVE ON SOMETHING ALONG THESE LINES. SO IT’S AGAIN LET THE LAWYERS HANDLE THAT BUT WE’VE BEEN VERY VERY PROACTIVE IN WORKING WORKING WITH THE COURTS WORKING WITH THE THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICE PROBATION, ETC. ETC. ALL THE OTHER PARTNERS TO TRY TO YOU KNOW, MINIMIZE THE AMOUNT OF POPULATION IN THE JAIL AND RELEASES MANY INMATES AS SAFE AS WE SAFELY CAN BACK INTO THE COMMUNITY. YEAH, I AGAIN I WANT TO THANK JUST WANT TO THANK THE FOLKS OUT THERE WHO HAVE BEEN SO PATIENT AND SO RESPONSIVE GOOD INFORMATION IS BEING GIVEN WE WANT TO REALLY FOCUS. WE’RE SO FORTUNATE HERE IN ALLEGHENY COUNTY WESTERN PENNSYLVANIA THAT WE HAVE THIS THIS CULTURE IN THIS ECOSYSTEM OF MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS SCIENTISTS WHO ARE WORKING FEVERISHLY BEHIND THE SCENES TO COME UP WITH TREATMENTS TO COME UP WITH CURES TO COME UP WITH VACCINES. TESTING. ALL THESE THINGS. THEY DON’T THEY’RE NOT OUT THERE IN THE IN THE PUBLIC EYE, BUT YOU KNOW, WE HAVE THIS AND IT’S HAPPENING ACROSS THE COUNTRY, BUT WE’RE TO HAVE IT HERE. TO BE ABLE TO LEAN ON THOSE KIND OF RESOURCES TO GIVE US THE GOOD KIND OF SOUND ADVICE FOR WORK PLACES FOR RECREATION FOR HOW OUR FAMILIES CAN LIVE ALL THOSE TYPE OF THINGS. WE JUST GOT TO KEEP HEADING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION. WE GOT TO KEEP MOVING AS WE HAVE BEEN AND WE’VE SEEN SOME GOOD SUCCESS SO FAR AND SOME GOOD NUMBERS AND WE JUST WANT TO CONTINUE THAT SO I WANT TO THANK EVERYBODY ELSE STARTING WANT TO THANK DR. BOGAN AND HER TEAM WE’RE PROUD THE WORK THAT THEY’RE DOING. THEY’RE WORKING LITERALLY AROUND THE CLOCK TO TRY TO KEEP PEOPLE SAFE IN THIS COUNTY AND AND IN THIS REGION AND WE’RE G
Allegheny County begins releasing race data on coronavirus deaths, hospitalizations
The Allegheny County Health Department is now reporting data on the race of deaths and hospitalizations due to COVID-19, officials announced Saturday. Health department Director Dr. Debra Bogen said monitoring COVID-19 data by race is important because the Health Department knows that communities of color already have poorer health outcomes in Allegheny County, and it is critical to know if COVID-19 is affecting those communities to a greater degree.As of April 11, hospitalizations and deaths by race are shown below: Hospitalizations by Race:White: 80Black: 22Other: 5Unknown: 23Total: 130Deaths by Race:White: 18Black: 1Other: 0Unknown: 0Total: 19More than half of COVID-19 test results that come to the health Department through Pennsylvania’s version of the National Electronic Disease Surveillance System do not contain information on race. To respond to this limitation in the data, the health department recently started to ask about race during case investigation interviews.Through its case investigations, the health department staff has been able to determine the race of a majority of the people hospitalized due to COVID-19 and all of the people who have died due to complications from the disease.Officials said work is underway to add this to the county’s COVID-19 dashboard moving forward and keep the information as up-to-date as possible.The health department said it is not yet reporting test data by race because they have more than half with missing data. However, the Health Department is developing strategies using other demographic information to evaluate inequities and will share information when we are confident it is correct and useful.“The entire staff at the health department and I are committed to providing data to the public that is accurate and informative and that examines issues of equity. We are in the process of refining our dashboard to do so,” Bogen said. Information about COVID-19 is available on the Allegheny County Health Department’s website at http://alleghenycounty.us/coronavirus.
The Allegheny County Health Department is now reporting data on the race of deaths and hospitalizations due to COVID-19, officials announced Saturday.
Health department Director Dr. Debra Bogen said monitoring COVID-19 data by race is important because the Health Department knows that communities of color already have poorer health outcomes in Allegheny County, and it is critical to know if COVID-19 is affecting those communities to a greater degree.
As of April 11, hospitalizations and deaths by race are shown below:
Hospitalizations by Race:
Deaths by Race:
More than half of COVID-19 test results that come to the health Department through Pennsylvania’s version of the National Electronic Disease Surveillance System do not contain information on race. To respond to this limitation in the data, the health department recently started to ask about race during case investigation interviews.
Through its case investigations, the health department staff has been able to determine the race of a majority of the people hospitalized due to COVID-19 and all of the people who have died due to complications from the disease.
Officials said work is underway to add this to the county’s COVID-19 dashboard moving forward and keep the information as up-to-date as possible.
The health department said it is not yet reporting test data by race because they have more than half with missing data. However, the Health Department is developing strategies using other demographic information to evaluate inequities and will share information when we are confident it is correct and useful.
“The entire staff at the health department and I are committed to providing data to the public that is accurate and informative and that examines issues of equity. We are in the process of refining our dashboard to do so,” Bogen said.
Information about COVID-19 is available on the Allegheny County Health Department’s website at http://alleghenycounty.us/coronavirus.