By: KDKA-TV News Staff
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Two Allegheny County leaders say they’re part of a coronavirus vaccine trial.
Allegheny County Health Department director Dr. Debra Bogen and Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald said during a briefing Wednesday that they’re participating in COVID-19 vaccine trials.
”I want to help be part of the solution. And like all of you, I want to visit with my brothers and sisters. I want to resume travel, hug friends when I see them and think about issues beyond COVID-19,” Dr. Bogen said.
Dr. Bogen says she’s participating in the Moderna trial and she got a shot yesterday, but she doesn’t know whether it was a vaccine or a placebo. Other than a sore arm, she says she feels great.
Fitzgerald said he got his shot today, and he doesn’t feel any different yet.
Pittsburgh is a test site for the Moderna vaccine, and both Bogen and Fitzgerald are encouraging others to help out.
“Anyone who can help out and be part of finding a cure, a vaccine, for this we owe it to ourselves and we owe it to the community to do that,” said Fitzgerald.
During that press conference, Dr. Bogen and Fitzgerald also talked about the big picture of coronavirus in the county.
One big issue county leaders are running into with college students returning is with testing data. Bogen said students who are getting tested for the virus are using out of county addresses so the health department isn’t getting those results.
As medical team works with local universities, the message to students is to use your local address so the spread can be monitored.
If you add in the return to schools in the region, Bogen said it’s a critical time. She believes surges typically happen roughly two weeks after an event so currently the 100 person outdoor gathering limitation in Allegheny County and restaurant restrictions still stand.
“I think my sense is in talking to the state that they do want to see the results of school returning both at the collegiate level and at at the K-12 level with the activities. Once they know where that all goes, I’m guessing around the middle of the month or in the next few weeks, they can take a look and see with the weather changing in October and November more of a relaxation indoorss,” Fitzgerald said.
On the state level, guidance has changed now allowing some spectators at youth sporting events this fall.
How will that look in Allegheny County? Both Fitzgerald and Bogen said they will be reviewing that new guidance with the county’s policy and hope to have more information soon.
As for Labor Day weekend, county leaders believe there could be a surge in cases like the July 4th holiday weekend. Their advice to people is to be safe, be smart and quarantine if traveling to a hot spot.