COVID-19 DOH Testing Lab

Courtesy of the Pennsylvania Department of Health

Pennsylvania Commonwealth microbiologist Kerry Pollard performs a manual extraction of the coronavirus inside the extraction lab at the Pennsylvania Department of Health Bureau of Laboratories on March 6.

Amid a stream of mixed developments when it comes to COVID-19, Monday brought a piece of undeniably good news, at least when it comes to this region – there were no new coronavirus deaths recorded since Saturday in Washington, Greene, Fayette and Westmoreland counties.

Allegheny County did report two new deaths, though, bringing its total since the start of the pandemic one year ago to 1,823. It reported 522 new cases since Saturday. Its cumulative number of cases now stands at 87,623. Washington County added 45 new cases, for a total of 15,390. Six new cases were added in Greene County. Its total since March 2020 is 2,913. Fayette County added 44 new cases. Its total is now 11,396. Westmoreland County added 113 new cases, for a total of 29,722.

Since the start of the pandemic, Washington County has seen 276 deaths, while Greene has seen 37. There have been 290 in Fayette County and 707 in Westmoreland County.

Across Pennsylvania, there were 2,718 additional positive cases of COVID-19 reported Monday. In addition, there were 3,993 new cases reported Sunday, for a two-day total of 6,651 additional positive cases. Since the start of the pandemic, Pennsylvania has had 1,045,400 cases. There were 12 new deaths reported in Pennsylvania, for a total of 25,200 deaths attributed to COVID-19.

The positivity rate for tests for the week ending April 1 was 9.4%. The current 14-day average of hospitalized patients is below where it was last spring and at Christmastime, but it has started to increase.

Also Monday, Pennsylvanians who are eligible to be vaccinated in Phase 1B of the state’s vaccination plan could begin scheduling appointments. Those in Phase 1B include clergy, workers in manufacturing, education, public transit, U.S. Postal Service workers and individuals living in congregate settings that are not long-term care facilities.

Staff Writer

Brad Hundt came to the Observer-Reporter in 1998 after stints at newspapers in Georgia and Michigan. He serves as editorial page editor, and has covered the arts and entertainment and worked as a municipal beat reporter.

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