State officials are preparing to order an end to indoor dining and large gatherings in Beaver County as local cases of COVID-19 continue to spike.
According to sources in Beaver County government, commissioners received a call today notifying them that Health Secretary Rachel Levine will be issuing an order prohibiting indoor dining in Beaver County as part of an effort to mitigate community spread of the coronavirus.
It is not immediately known what other restrictions Levine may issue or how long they will remain in effect.
Washington County commissioners have confirmed that the state will announce “targeted mitigation efforts” for several other counties in southwestern Pennsylvania as well, according to a report by KDKA-TV.
Data from the PA Department of Health shows Beaver County has seen 117 new cases of COVID-19 since June 29, with 28 of those cases being reported on July 6. There were 6 new cases reported on July 5, 17 on July 4, 18 on July 3, 13 on July 2, and 11 cases on July 1. The county has gone from 605 cumulative cases on June 6 to 770 cases on July 6.
Unlike previous spikes Beaver County has seen, the current increases are for the most part not affiliated with nursing homes.
The rise in new cases has not yet translated to an increase in hospitalizations.
“We have not seen any increase of COVID-19 activity in our hospitals,” Heritage Valley spokesperson Suzanne Sakson told BeaverCountian.com today. “The community activity is increasing, but has not yet transitioned to inpatients.”
Beaver County Commissioners have been less cautious in recent weeks than officials in some other counties.
Commissioners participated in three separate protest and unity marches in response to the Black Lives Matter movement and voted unanimously to fund a $50,000 fireworks show for July 4. The “Beaver County BOOM!” event had originally been canceled by organizers due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19 before commissioners decided to revive it.
Beaver County District Attorney David Lozier has previously announced he would not be prosecuting companies or individuals who violate state mandates designed to curb the spread of the virus, questioning enforcement authority, a decision supported by all three county commissioners.
Commissioners Dan Camp and Jack Manning declined to comment for this report.