August 4, 2022

Hochul Takes Action to Address Rising Covid-19 Rates Surpass 10% in WNY | Local News

Ambulances bring patients to the emergency department at Erie County Medical Center. Hospitals in the region, including the ECMC, are at or near full capacity, further strained by another wave of Covid-19 cases.

Sharon Cantillon / File photo

The latest pandemic trends continued to evolve in a bewildering direction at the end of this week, with patient numbers increasing at many regional hospitals as the World Health Organization reported that a worrying new variant was found in Africa and Europe.

“With the emergence of the Omicron variant overseas and warning signs of spikes in cases this winter, the need for basic Covid-19 safety procedures here in New York is more important than ever,” said Governor Kathy Hochul on Saturday reporting that the seven daily average of new positive tests has exceeded 10% in western New York state.

The positive test rate of 10.15% for the region which includes Erie, Niagara, Allegany, Cattaraugus and Chautauqua counties was the highest in the state and nearly six times higher than the lowest region, New York. The statewide rate was 3.95%, the governor’s office reported.

Erie County Department of Health officials confirmed 391 new positive tests on Friday.

“Although there have been a smaller number of new cases, only around 3,000 tests were reported for yesterday (likely due to holidays),” Erie County Director Mark Poloncarz tweeted on Saturday after -midday. “The positivity rate was very high: 12.8%. “

If things get worse, Erie County Director Mark Poloncarz warned Wednesday that the county may have to order the cancellation or postponement of all elective surgeries at area hospitals.

Poloncarz on Wednesday reinstated a mask mandate in restaurants, bars, grocery stores and other establishments due to the increase in testing percentages.