ERIE COUNTY, N.Y. (WIVB)– In the last seven days, there have been nearly three thousand positive covid-19 cases in Erie County alone, with a daily positivity rate of 8-percent.
On Monday 539 people tested positive for covid-19, the highest daily total since January.
This comes as more people are getting vaccinated, leaving leaders figuring out where the disconnect is coming from. ErieCounty Executive Mark Poloncarz says the numbers in our area aren’t looking good.
” Folks, this is serious. This is not going away and we need to be better. The other thing that has gone up in the last week is hospitalizations in both Western New York and Erie County. On March 28 there were 190 covid-19 patients in western new york hospitals, 45 in the ICU.”
But this isn’t only happening in Erie County. On Monday CDC Director Rochelle Walensky admitted she’s scared as the U.S. heads toward a fourth wave.
“I’m going to pause here, I’m going to lose the script and I’m going to reflect on the recurring feeling of impending doom. We have so much to look forward to, so much promise and potential of where we are and so much reason for hope, but right now I’m scared.”
This comes as eligibility for the vaccine continues to expand. Erie County is expected to receive roughly 28 thousand first doses next week. But officials say this surge in cases and hospitalizations could be the result of many factors.
“We’re seeing more transmission in the community and instead of thinking ‘ok, we’re good now, everyone is getting vaccinated and the virus is gone so we can let down our guard’ – that’s not true,” said Dr. Gale Burstein, Erie County Commissioner of Health.
Both Poloncarz and Burstein say this will be important come this weekend when families are getting together to celebrate Easter. They’re encouraging people to gather outdoors in small groups.
And of course, wear their mask.
Marlee Tuskes is a reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.