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The Erie County Department of Health on Tuesday provided an update on COVID-19 data. For the week ending Aug. 21, ECDOH received reports for 983 new COVID-19 cases among Erie County residents. With a 20% increase from the previous week’s total of 811, a steady increase in new COVID-19 cases continues.
The COVID-19 case rate of 103 cases per 100,000 residents in the past seven days for the week ending Aug. 21 is an increase from the previous week’s case rate of 85. (Note: Last week’s rate was calculated using 2020 U.S. Census population data. Case rates by age and ZIP code will be calculated with 2010 U.S. Census data until the full 2020 data set is available.) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention set a case rate threshold of 100 or more for a community to be considered to have “high transmission.”
ECDOH reported 33% of new COVID-19 cases last week were among City of Buffalo residents, similar to recent weeks. Moreover, 20 ZIP codes had seven-day case rates of more than 100 new cases per 100,000 persons, indicating “high” transmission according to CDC indicators, whereas in the previous week only seven ZIP codes fell in the high transmission category. The 14222 and 14052 ZIP codes had the highest seven-day case rates per 100,000 people with 207 and 156, respectively. Case investigated in these ZIP codes included family and household clusters.
Total diagnostic COVID-19 test reports increased again to more than 28,000 tests last week, from about 26,000 tests the previous week.
ECDOH said it and health care providers within Erie County still have “substantial diagnostic testing capacity.
“People who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, regardless of vaccination status, should strongly consider a diagnostic COVID-19 test. Free tests are available through ECDOH by calling 716-858-2929 to schedule an appointment.”
Based on increased demand for diagnostic testing, ECDOH has expanded testing dates and times for Erie County residents to 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays and 8 a.m. to noon Saturday. Appointments are required for COVID-19 testing.
Case counts continue to be highest in the 20-29 and 30-39 age group, and accounted for 40% of new cases last week as with previous weeks. The largest increase in new cases in the past two weeks occurred in the 70-79 age group, which nearly doubled in new cases from 35 cases to 69 cases. The 20-29-year-old age group had a seven-day case rate per 100,000 people of 161, and 30-39-year-old age group seven-day case rate per 100,000 people was 184; both case rates are higher than last week and significantly higher than the overall rate for Erie County. Two other age groups also have seven-day case rates of more than 100, with the 60-69 age group at 103, and the 70-79 age group at 120.
With 92 COVID-19 hospitalizations reported in Erie County hospitals on Aug. 22, the number of patients admitted to Erie County hospitals with COVID-19 continues to increase, including patients admitted with COVID-19 to the ICU.
ECDOH also is reporting COVID-19 mortality data. It received reports of eight deaths associated with COVID-19 in the past seven days. Total COVID-19-related deaths from March 2020 to Aug. 19, 2021, now stand at 1,948, with 672 reported in 2021. Of the 210 reported COVID-19 associated deaths April 1 through Aug. 19, 92% (193) of these were among persons who were not fully vaccinated against COVID-19 prior to infection.
With data compiled by the ECDOH epidemiology office and based on 2020 U.S. Census population estimates, 68.8% of Erie County residents ages 18 and older have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose, and 64.9% of Erie County residents ages 18 and older have completed a vaccine series. Additional data, including vaccination estimates by ZIP code, are posted to the ECDOH website. NYSDOH also updates vaccination data by demographics, by county and by ZIP code.
ECDOH has an active schedule of COVID-19 vaccine clinics, listed at www.erie.gov/vax, and will also vaccinate any eligible Erie County resident at their home. Call 716-858-2929 for the “Vax Visit” program. ECDOH said it “encourages Erie County residents who are not fully vaccinated to begin their COVID-19 vaccine series. COVID-19 vaccination is especially important for youth and families attending school or child care.”
Chart: Erie County hospitalization data, past two weeks (Aug. 8-22, 2021). Data sources: New York State Department of Health and Erie County hospitals.