Pittsburgh’s spread helps drive up state COVID-19 infections

Pennsylvania

Griffin Emerson of Indiana Township, Pa. briefly chanted “let us work” while protesting Allegheny County’s ban on alcohol at bars and restaurants at the City-County Building, Downtown Pittsburgh, on Thursday, July 2, 2020. “I’m here to support Pennsylvania jobs,” he said. (Steve Mellon/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette via AP)

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — The rising number of COVID-19 infections in the Pittsburgh area helped drive Pennsylvania’s number of confirmed new cases to 667, the state Health Department said Friday.

Pennsylvania’s death toll from the coronavirus pandemic rose by 34 to more than 6,700 since the infection began to spread in the state earlier this year. There have been nearly 89,000 people diagnosed with the disease in the state so far.

The number of cases in Allegheny County, which encompasses Pittsburgh, rose by 166, the department said. Allegheny County put the increase in confirmed cases at 177 on Friday.

In response to a spike in cases there, the county’s Health Department closed bars and restaurants for a week, starting Friday, although they can still provide take-out and delivery.

Allegheny County also ordered the casino there to close and banned gatherings of more than 25 people for the next week, while encouraging residents to stay at home to help stem the spread.

Health officials in Philadelphia and Allegheny County have said they’ve noticed that many of those recently infected have been socializing in bars or traveling to beach vacations or coronavirus hot spots in other parts of the country.

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