BELMONT, N.Y. (WKBW) — Allegany County, New York State's least vaccinated county (41.9% vaccinated), is the next victim of the Western New York and Southern Tier COVID-19 surge.
"We need to get our community vaccinated and stop the spread," said Curtis Crandall, the Allegany County Board President.
The County recorded a record-high 19.5% one-day positivity rate Monday, the highest in the state. A positivity rate typically reflects the total amount of positive tests in a one-day period - so nearly 1 in 5 of those tested was positive.
"We need to get this under control, now" said Crandall.
In response to the rapid COVID-19 surge, leaders from across Allegany County, including representatives from the University of Rochester Jones Memorial Hospital, the Public Health Director, and the County Board called an emergency press conference.
"We need to more than ever implore everyone to get vaccinated. Talk to your primary care provider - the person you have gone to your entire life for health and medical advice, and find out the information you need - but get vaccinated," said Dr. Jackie Anderson, an Emergency Room physician at University of Rochester Jones Memorial Hospital in Wellsville.
Dr. Anderson tells 7 Eyewitness News that their facilities are completely overrun with COVID-19 patients, and they are stretched as thin as possible:
“We were holding 11 people yesterday in a 9 person Emergency Room department ... which means we need to find beds, and place patients who require significant medical care in non-clinical spaces like hallways - chairs in hallways. With the same number of nurses.”
Those present at the press conference did not mention any sweeping motions to force the corona virus rates down - including no plans on any sort of mask or vaccine mandates. However, they implore all those living in Allegany County to get vaccinated.
If you would like to schedule an appointment, the Allegany County government recommends using the tool VaccineHound, which helps find availability.