Pa. Officials Concerned About COVID-19 Increases in Its 2nd-Largest City

Much of the rise is among young people

A woman at a podium with a sign language interpreter

State officials responding to the coronavirus epidemic are concerned about Allegheny County, home to the city of Pittsburgh, after county officials said they had seen an alarming increase in infections, largely among younger people.

There, officials will stopping on-site consumption of alcohol in bars and restaurants as of 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Allegheny County is home to 1.2 million people and is the state's second most-populated county behind Philadelphia. And in Philadelphia, city officials have warned that the city might not lift its remaining economic restrictions by Friday as it had planned, given the continuing number of coronavirus cases being reported.

Meanwhile, Pennsylvania government agencies are laying out guidelines that will make it easier for people to visit relatives and others inside nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.

The Human Services and Health departments announced procedures over the weekend that apply to nursing homes, personal care homes, assisted living residences and private intermediate care facilities.

The homes must first have a publicly available plan, be able to do testing within a day of any resident showing symptoms, implement scheduling, be prepared to isolate residents with a COVID-19 diagnosis and meet standards for staffing, protective equipment and screening.

To reopen for visitors, facilities must have had no new outbreaks among residents or staff and no spread over a two-week period.

Nursing homes and personal care facilities have borne the brunt of the coronavirus pandemic in Pennsylvania, accounting for nearly 70% of the state's roughly 6,600 fatalities.

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