Dr. Bogen says the spike in cases can be tied to holiday gatherings and travel.By Amy Wadas

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – While the number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations hit a peak in late November and early December, they have been trending down since.

However, Allegheny County Health Director Dr. Debra Bogen says she is worried about the numbers going back up.

According to Bogen, the county saw the biggest spike in COVID-19 cases this past week. She says a lot of those cases are coming from Christmas and New Year’s Eve parties as well as travel.

Right now, local health officials are investigating five New Year’s Eve parties that had up to 40 people attending each one.

She said that high school students and young people went to several of these celebrations.

On top of that – the county noticed an increase in travel over the holidays. A lot of the COVID-19 case investigators and contact tracers are seeing in the county are coming from other counties and even other states.

As for vaccine rollout, Bogen admitted it has been a slow start but the pace will soon increase exponentially.

However, she warned, that doesn’t mean letting your guard down.

She reminded county residents to continue wearing masks, washing their hands, and social distancing.