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COVID-19’s Toll Remains High For Black Residents

Sufferers report having visited bars and restaurants, attending weddings and parties

By Jason Togyer
The Tube City Almanac
September 09, 2020
Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

(Source: Allegheny County Health Department)

COVID-19 continues to disproportionately affect Black residents, according to statistics from the Allegheny County Health Department.

And bars and restaurants remain the number one location visited by people who have tested positive for COVID-19, the health department said in a report released Wednesday. Weddings, funerals and parties also are among the events that sufferers reported attending before their diagnoses.

Although only 14 percent of county residents are Black, they represent 25 percent of all COVID-19 cases in Allegheny County, the latest health department statistics indicate.

Women also seem to be disproportionately affected. About 54 percent of all cases and 56 percent of deaths from COVID-19 are women, county statistics indicate.

Largest age group is 20-somethings

Overall, the largest age group of COVID-19 cases is people 20 to 29, representing 25 percent. People age 70 and older represent only 14 percent of the cases in Allegheny County, but 84 percent of the deaths.

On Wednesday, the health department reported 68 new confirmed cases out of 663 people tested. The positive tests were taken between Aug. 31 and Tuesday.

The median age of people with new cases of COVID-19 was 21, a spokesperson said, but cases were found in people ranging in age from 97 to a 1-year-old toddler.

Nine new deaths reported Wednesday

Nine new deaths from COVID-19 were reported Wednesday, including seven people living in long-term care facilities.

Contact tracers interviewed 459 people who tested positive for COVID-19 during the week of Aug. 30 to Sept. 5, according to Wednesday’s report. 

Of those interviewed, 31 people reported either working at a bar or restaurant, or visiting one as a customer. Fifteen people reported attending weddings or funerals and 13 reported going to parties.

During the previous week, Aug. 23 to 29, 298 people were interviewed, the county said. Top activities among new positive cases included visiting a bar or restaurant (34 cases), playing sports (22 cases), attending a wedding or funeral (13 cases) and going to parties (12 cases).

Clairton, Duquesne are hot spots

In the Mon-Yough area, Clairton is a hot spot for COVID-19, with 108 cases, or a rate of 158.9 per 10,000 people, and two deaths, according to the health department.

Duquesne has had 84 cases, for a rate of 150.9 per 10,000 people. There have been four deaths from COVID-19 in the city.

McKeesport has had 213 cases, for a rate of 108 per 10,000 people. There have been 10 deaths from COVID-19 in the city.

West Mifflin has had 163 cases, for a rate of 80 per 10,000 people, and one death attributed to COVID-19.

Other local communities of interest:

North Versailles Twp., 67 cases, two deaths
White Oak, 46 cases, 1 death
Glassport, 34 cases, 1 death
Port Vue, 31 cases, no deaths
Liberty, 19 cases, no deaths
Versailles, 16 cases, no deaths
Lincoln Borough, 11 cases, no deaths
Dravosburg, 9 cases, no deaths

Jason Togyer is editor of Tube City Almanac and volunteer executive director of Tube City Community Media Inc. He may be reached at jtogyer@gmail.com.

Originally published September 09, 2020.

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