Covid-19 killed 90 people in Allegheny County in September, the highest monthly total since April, said Dr. Debra Bogen, the county’s health director.
Since Sept. 1, nine residents in the 25 to 49 age range have died from the virus, Bogen said. None were vaccinated. In the same time span, 16 people 50 to 64 have died. Three were vaccinated.
“These are young people, all of them taken way too early,” Bogen said. “In most cases, they simply did not need to die, and in most cases, if they’d gotten the vaccine, they would still be alive.”
A county health spokesman said officials are not aware of any vaccine-induced deaths.
The county health department on Wednesday tallied 471 newly reported cases among residents, more than double the 196 reported the day prior. Statewide, health officials reported just over 5,000 new cases.
Bogen, though, said she believes surging cases in Allegheny County are mirroring what is happening nationwide: They’ve begun to plateau and even recede. She said the county is averaging about 350 to 400 new cases each day.
She said it is unclear whether hospitalizations and deaths also have peaked, as those number generally lag about two weeks behind rising case counts.
“I do think we’ve plateaued. I hope our cases are starting to go down,” she said. “In terms of deaths, because they lag behind cases, I don’t know … if we’re at the peak or if we have a couple more weeks of high levels of deaths.”
Though deaths and hospitalizations have increased in recent weeks, so too have vaccinations in the county. In the past week, the number of county residents who are partially vaccinated rose from about 68,900 to just under 71,400.
Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald said there could be myriad reasons for the increase in new vaccinations. Part of it, he said, could be the continued evidence in support of the vaccine.
“Week after week, the data nationwide and locally both show the effectiveness of it,” he said.
He noted he has heard anecdotally of more and more local companies and large employers quietly instituting vaccine requirements, as well as more college students choosing vaccination.
“I do think you’re starting to see places where just about everybody is vaccinated, and that’s pushing those numbers up,” he said.
Megan Guza is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Megan at 412-380-8519, email@example.com or via Twitter .