ALLEGHENY COUNTY (KDKA) — The local spike in Coronavirus cases is cause for alarm but not panic. Despite an upward trajectory in new numbers, the county is hopeful recent prohibitions against alcohol sales in bars and restaurants will help flatten the recent curve.

“We are hopeful we can maintain some kind of plateau for a few days or a week or so and then hopefully the numbers will come down,” said Rich Fitzgerald, the county executive.

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(Photo Credit: KDKA)

The county says numbers jumped as vacationers returned from the beach in hotspots states and spread the infections mostly in bars. But as we now stay closer to home, Fitzgerald and others say the onus lies with us during get-togethers and lawn parties this holiday weekend.

“You’re in your backyard, out your mask on, sit a little bit apart, enjoy the cookout and the holiday weekend but still we can be responsible,” he said.

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CMU Professor Wesley Pegden says if you do socialize, it’s best to keep that contact within your family or a small circle of friends.

“So for instance, if you have a circle of a few friends who see each other regularly, that is a million times better then if you see one or two friends and it’s always a different person day to day,” Pegden said.

And since the majority of the newly infected are young people in their twenties, he says they especially must be careful with their interactions. Young people may not show symptoms but still can pass the virus on to older or at-risk people.

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“If you’re visiting older relatives, if you live with older relatives that should be something you think about. In your calculus of how you’re interactions affect other people,” he said.