The number of reported coronavirus cases in Erie and Niagara counties has gone up for the first time in several weeks. As of Wednesday, the seven-day average of cases per a population of 100,000 was 8.25%. The seven-day average percentage of positive test results reported over the past three days was 1.86%. One week ago, those numbers were 6.82% and 1.79%, respectively.
The Erie County Department of Health confirmed 105 new COVID-19 cases for March 21, and 541 total cases over the past seven days. There are 24 confirmed cases on Grand Island. These numbers do not include at-home positive test results. This is a 12% increase, compared to the previous week (447 cases) – the first weekly increase following nine consecutive weeks of decline. Total new cases per 100,000 Erie County residents over the past seven days is 57.
Grand Island vaccination rate for town residents ages 20 and over is 88.3%, and, for town residents ages 5-19, vaccination rate is 49.3%, as of the week ending March 12, according to data from ECDOH.
The county positivity rate as of Tuesday was 3.7%, with a seven-day positivity rate of 2.4%.
There were 213,735 total confirmed cases in Erie County through Feb. 28.
For more information, check out the data compiled by the ECDOH at https://www2.erie.gov/health/sites/www2.erie.gov.health/files/uploads/pdfs/01152022-ECDOH-COVID-data.pdf.
The Niagara County Department of Health reported 130 new positive cases over the past week, an increase of 26 from one week ago. Daily new cases per 100,000 residents rose from 7 to 9.
Hospital bed availability declined, with Mount St. Mary’s dropping from 43% to 34%, Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center from 35% to 33%, and Eastern Niagara Hospital from 78% to 73%.
NCDOH has recorded 47,576 total cases since the pandemic began two years ago, with 568 deaths. There are 147,828 residents with at least one vaccine dose.
On Monday, Gov. Kathy Hochul made several statements about coronavirus and the newest variant. Some of her comments included:
"We are closely monitoring BA.2, and will continue to stay vigilant by making tests, vaccines and boosters widely available. The best way to keep the numbers down is by using the tools we know work. If you feel sick, get tested. If you test positive, talk to a doctor right away about treatments. Together, we will continue to move forward safely through this pandemic."
“There are reports that Thursday's 30% increase in cases as results of the omicron BA.2 subvariant. When you go from 8 cases per hundred thousand to 11 cases per a hundred thousand, yes, it is 30%, but it was just a few months ago, we had over 400 cases per hundred thousand. So, I just want people to understand the context of this, as well. We're being very diligent in making sure that we monitor the numbers in case the numbers do start increasing.”
"I want to make sure you know what we know when we find out about what's happening here. This subvariant is going to be something we're watching closely. We're not being alarmist about it. We're just transmitting the information as we get it. But the No. 1 basic way to deal with this right now is, if anyone feels symptoms at all, just get tested immediately."
"We have not focused as a nation as much on the treatment capabilities. You should, first sign of symptoms, let your doctor know so you can start getting the treatments that can stop the circumstances from getting worse."
The public can visit https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/covid-19-data-new-york for more information. This site contains state, regional and county data on positive cases, fatalities, hospitalizations and vaccinations, along with various demographic breakdowns and the individual school district dashboard.
The U.S. government has set up a website for people to order four free rapid antigen at-home tests. Everyone in the U.S. is eligible to order test kits via this website: https://www.covidtests.gov/.
Free rapid antigen tests are available for pickup at the Grand Island Memorial Library, with a limit of two test kits per household. Both KN95 and disposable masks, as well as at-home test kits, are available for pickup at the Grand Island Golden Age Center at the Nike Base, 3278 Whitehaven Road.