More Western Pa. counties return to high covid levels; CDC suggests indoor masking

Westmoreland County has returned to a high covid-19 risk level, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It’s one of four counties in Western Pennsylvania with that designation.

Beaver and Butler counties were also recently returned to that level, along with Allegheny County, which has been at a high level for the past several weeks.

At the high level, the CDC recommends wearing a mask indoors at public places and on public transportation.

“With current high levels of vaccination and high levels of population immunity from both vaccination and infections, the risk of medically significant disease, hospitalization, and death from covid-19 is greatly reduced for most people,” the CDC says on its webpage explaining the level designations. “At the same time, we know that some people and communities, such as our oldest citizens, people who are immunocompromised, and people with disabilities, are at higher risk for serious illness and face challenging decisions navigating a world with covid-19.”

In Westmoreland, the CDC is reporting about 238 covid cases and 10.5 new covid-related hospitalizations per 100,000 population as of Thursday.

That includes an average of 33.7 new cases – confirmed and probable – per 100,000 residents and an average of 118 new cases per day, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health. There were 824 new cases in Westmoreland from May 18 to 24.

Allegheny County is showing about 348 new covid cases and 10.5 covid-related hospitalizations per 100,000 residents, the CDC reported. The county is reporting an average of 611 cases per day, according to its covid-19 dashboard.

The CDC is currently reporting medium covid levels in Armstrong, Indiana and Washington counties and low levels in Fayette, Greene and Somerset counties.

Jeff Himler is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jeff at 724-836-6622, or via Twitter .

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