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Erie County now considered "high" COVID community level, recommends mask-wearing indoors

Posted at 12:49 PM, Apr 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-22 23:19:39-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Erie County reported Friday that it has met the indicators to be considered a "high" community level for COVID-19.

"The cases are not surprising," Doctor Thomas Russo from the UB Jacobs School of Medicine said. "The good news is we're decoupling from more severe disease and hospitalizations."

The designation comes with new safety recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In communities with a high COVID-19 level, CDC prevention strategies include:

  • Wear a well-fitting mask indoors in public, regardless of vaccination status
  • Stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines
  • Get tested if you have symptoms

"You should probably be using a high quality, well-fitting mask in indoor scenarios, where everyone is not masked, to minimize the chances of you getting infected," Dr. Russo said.

You can find a full list of recommendations on the CDC website.

Dr. Russo said typically, we see a peak for three to four weeks before case numbers drop again.

As for schools, Hamburg Central Schools superintendent Michael Cornell said they have no plans to change masking guidelines yet.

"When I talk to most of my superintendent colleagues, it's very difficult to imagine a rational, fact-based, rationale for re-implementing," Cornell said.

The CDC does recommend masking for school districts in counties with high transmission rates. But Cornell said case numbers have remained low within the school system.

"We serve a population of people between the ages of five to 18 who have largely not been subject to the most serious symptoms of COVID-19," Cornell said.