Erie County still holding in orange zone as state adjusts zone designation guidelines

Posted at 4:11 PM, Nov 30, 2020

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz says the county is waiting for additional guidance from the state before shifting zone status.

This comes as Governor Andrew Cuomo announced updates Monday to how micro-clusters are evaluated for zone designation.

Both said there will be a close following of the post-Thanksgiving day surge in cases before any decisions are made.

The primary concern is hospital capacity.

Erie County hospitals have reported a 125% surge in hospitalizations this month and the Governor worries that there will be a lack of ICU space.

There are 386 people in Western New York hospitals Monday, the highest reported since the start of the pandemic.

As of November 30, Poloncarz is waiting for additional data but is confident we have not met our bed capacity in this region yet.

Cases are continuing to climb in suburbs with West Seneca leading the case count at 236 cases, followed by Hamburg with 233 and Lancaster with 203.

It’s a shift from the trends we saw with the first wave of coronavirus in Western New York.

“In this second wave we are seeing a greater preponderance of whites dying than we did earlier this year,” said Poloncarz. “The African American percentage of fatalities is dropping to the lowest it’s been in quite some time to 15.4% which is just slightly off the actual population.”