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Erie County Officials: Suburbs doing worse with COVID positivity rates than city

Posted at 6:17 PM, Nov 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-25 19:52:57-05

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — COVID-19 cases in Erie County continue to rise.

As of Nov. 24, 521 new cases were confirmed by the Erie County Department of Health out of 9,109 diagnostic reports. The county says this is a daily positivity rate of 5.7%. The 7-day rolling positivity rate average is 6.7%.

“The suburbs and the rural areas are doing worse than the City of Buffalo residents are,” County Executive Mark Poloncarz said.

Poloncarz, sharing concerning numbers about daily positivity rates in some suburban areas. Amherst saw the highest positivity rate with 36.8%, followed by Eden, Irving, Wales, Holland and North Collins, all above 10%.

“As we saw early on, we’re seeing a lot of new cases from the City of Buffalo, but now it’s kind of reversed,” he said of new positive testing trends.

In most new cases, the county says it’s seeing members of the same household test positive for COVID-19.

Health officials are concerned that the next couple weeks could be detrimental for local hospitals. 37% of the COVID-19 cases for 2020 have been recorded this month. As of right now, 264 people are hospitalized in Erie County with COVID-19.

Doctors from the Jacob’s School of Medicine created a graph which took census data from hospitals, showing the number of hospitalizations going up if there are not changes to our daily routine.

“The numbers would continue to come down even further if we are in a red zone,” said Erie County Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein.

At this point the state is watching the numbers, and there have been no changes to the zones. Much of Erie County is still in an orange zone with specific restrictions.