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PITTSBURGH – In light of the probability that the county will have presumptive positive cases of COVID-19, Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) officials are updating their guidance and recommendation to minimize the potential spread. Specifically, officials are encouraging the most vulnerable groups, which include the elderly, those with underlying medical conditions, and those that are currently sick, to follow these proactive measures that will help stop the virus from spreading in our community:• Avoid large events and mass gatherings, as well as other settings where you would have close contact (within six feet) with a large group of people.• Continue proactive hygiene measures such as washing your hands frequently, covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue (immediately throw away-- if a tissue isn’t available, sneeze/cough into your elbow), and frequently cleaning highly-touched surfaces.• Stay home if you are sick and call your primary care provider to discuss next steps.While there are still no presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 in Allegheny County and there has yet to be community spread identified in Pennsylvania, there is increasing evidence in the U.S., the state and surrounding states indicating that local presumptive positive cases are likely to be detected in the near future.The Department will continue its surveillance and containment measures, which include issuing orders to separate potentially sick individuals from non-sick individuals as necessary. ACHD will also continue its daily communication with all stakeholders and partners to ensure that strong plans are in place throughout this COVID-19 threat.ACHD would like to remind business and organizations that it’s particularly important to encourage sick employees to stay home; emphasize cough and sneeze etiquette and hand hygiene; perform routine cleaning of frequently-touched surfaces and objects; and provide disposable wipes for employees to use on frequently-touched surfaces.In the event of local community spread of COVID-19, there will be a coordinated effort with state and federal health agencies to implement procedures to mitigate additional exposure. These potential measures may include additional social distancing tactics such as school closures and postponing large gatherings.It’s very important that residents are aware that this is an evolving situation that is changing rapidly, and ACHD will notify the public as soon as new information is made available.For more information on COVID-19, visit www.alleghenycounty.us/coronavirus. If you are not yet a subscriber to Allegheny Alerts, we encourage you to create an account at www.alleghenycounty.us/alerts and to subscribe for COVID-19 alerts under the categories of Health Department/Health & Environment. ACHD provides a daily update at 11 a.m. via Allegheny Alerts and additional notifications as information becomes available.We also encourage you to follow ACHD on Facebook (www.facebook.com/AlleghenyCountyHealth) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/HealthAllegheny).# # #Ronald A. Sugar, Esq., MBA, Acting DirectorAllegheny County Health Department – Public Information Office542 Fourth Avenue │ Pittsburgh, PA 15219Phone: 412-687-ACHD (2243) │ Fax: 412-578-8325│www.alleghenycounty.us/healthdepartment