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(Chart: Erie County hospitalization data, past two weeks (Aug. 21-Sept. 5, 2021). Data sources: New York State Department of Health and Erie County hospital.)
(Chart: Erie County hospitalization data, past two weeks (Aug. 21-Sept. 5, 2021). Data sources: New York State Department of Health and Erie County hospital.)

COVID cases continue to rise in Erie County


Thu, Sep 9th 2021 10:05 am

Submitted by the Erie County Department of Health

The Erie County Department of Health is providing an update on COVID-19 data. For the week ending Sept. 4, 2021, ECDOH received reports for 1,326 new COVID-19 cases among Erie County residents, a 22% increase from the previous week.

The COVID-19 case rate of 139 cases per 100,000 residents in the past seven days for the week ending Sept. 4 is an increase from the previous week’s case rate of 114. (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.”

Also, 26% of new COVID-19 cases last week were among City of Buffalo residents. This past week, 31 ZIP codes (compared to 21 ZIP codes the previous week) had seven-day case rates of more than 100 new cases per 100,000 persons, indicating “high” transmission according to CDC indicators. The 14032 (Clarence Center) and 14001 (Akron) ZIP codes had the highest seven-day case rates per 100,000 people with 263 and 243, respectively.

Total diagnostic COVID-19 test reports increased again to nearly 35,000 tests last week. ECDOH 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 Saturdays. Appointments are required for COVID-19 testing.

Case counts were highest in the 20-29 and 30-39-year-old age groups last week. The seven-day case rate per 100,000 population for 20-29-year-old age group was 188, and the 30-39-year-old age group was 249.

The highest positivity rates continue to be in persons under age 19; the 0-4, 5-10 and 11-13-year-old age groups each had positivity rates of more than 6% for the week ending Sept. 4. These data are provided with the note that these younger age groups tend to have lower overall test report numbers than adult age groups. Of all age groups, the 0-4-year-old age group had the largest percent increase in cases last week from the previous week, with an increase of 116% from 31 to 67 cases. Part of this increase was attributed to clusters of cases associated with child care centers.

A review of COVID-19 completed COVID-19 case investigations for the past three weeks found that approximately 40% of Erie County cases have been in persons who were fully vaccinated. Further, from Aug. 23-29 by the office of epidemiology found 88% of all cases reported having COVID-19 symptoms at the time of their test. There was no significant difference in the percentage of people reporting symptoms based on their vaccination status.

With 109 COVID-19 hospitalizations reported in Erie County hospitals on Sept. 5, the number of patients admitted to Erie County hospitals with COVID-19 has remained relatively stable for the past two weeks.

ECDOH is reporting COVID-19 mortality data. ECDOH received reports of 18 deaths associated with COVID-19 in the past seven days. In addition, 39 COVID-19-related deaths were reported for August, compared with 11 in July and 18 in June. Total COVID-19-related deaths from March 2020 to Sept. 2, 2021, now stand at 1,975, with 699 reported in 2021. Of the 237 reported COVID-19 associated deaths during April 1 through Sept. 2, 2021, 89% (210) of these deaths were among persons who were not fully vaccinated against COVID-19 prior to infection.

The average age at death increased from July to August 2021 from an average of 69 years to 74 years. This demonstrates that older individuals and people who live with or care for them should continue to take precautions, even if vaccinated, to guard against infection.

With data compiled by the ECDOH epidemiology office through Sept. 6 and based on 2020 U.S. Census population estimates, 69.8% of Erie County residents ages 18 and older have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose, and 65.8% of Erie County residents ages 18 and older have completed a vaccine series. For the 16-17-year-old age group, 56.5% have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine. 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 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. Third COVID-19 vaccine doses for people with moderately or severely immunocompromising conditions are available at any Erie County COVID-19 vaccine clinic. 

√ ECDOH, COVID-19 weekly data updates: https://www2.erie.gov/health/index.php?q=covid-19-media-data

√ Erie County COVID-19 wastewater testing: http://erie.gov/covid19-wastewater

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