By: KDKA-TV News Staff
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The coronavirus surge continues to worsen after the Thanksgiving holiday, with several Pittsburgh-area counties reporting record-breaking numbers Friday.
The entire state set a record for new cases, reporting 11,763 cases. The number of people hospitalized with the virus also now tops 5,000 with more than 1,000 people in the ICU.
Allegheny County saw a record-breaking number of deaths. Twenty-six more people died. The health department says that includes information imported from the state’s reporting system.
For the second day in a row, Westmoreland County also set a new record for case counts. There were 412 new cases and four additional deaths.
And Butler County also saw a record-breaking day, reporting 193 new cases and three more deaths.
Dr. Rachel Levine said Monday of this week that we’re heading into the peak of the pandemic.
“This right now — November, December, January, February — looks like it’s going to be the peak time in terms of transmission of COVID-19 during this global pandemic,” she said.
As more people are getting sick, hospitalizations continue to rise and health officials are worried about staffing shortages.
Dr. Levine said a third or more of southwestern Pennsylvania hospitals will experience staffing shortages in the next week. It came as intensive care units at both Butler Memorial and Clarion hospitals have reached maximum capacity.
Dr. Levine said earlier this week she’s “very hopeful” about the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines being approved, and the state is ready to distribute and administer those. But that will be a slow process, she said, and it won’t be until late spring or summer until the general public will start to be immunized.