Buffalo, surrounding towns on track to becoming red zone

Erie County

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — During his update on the pandemic Monday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that Buffalo and the surrounding towns are on track to becoming a red zone on the state’s cluster zone map.

Currently, much of the county is designated as an orange zone, due to the rise in cases of COVID-19. According to Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz, 37 percent of all cases found in the county have been recorded this month.

Lancaster currently has the highest infection rate in the state, at 9.68 percent.

While referring to the state as a whole, Gov. Cuomo said “The last three weeks the number of hospitalizations has gone from 1,200 to 2,700,” — a statistic he noted as a “122% increase.”

In an orange zone, residential and non-residential gatherings can have a maximum of 10 people present. But in a red zone, they’re prohibited.

Schools are already remote-only, due to the orange zone status, so nothing there would change in a red zone.

For houses of worship, the maximum number of people allowed is either 10 people or 25 percent of the maximum capacity — whichever is lesser.

Dining services must only offer take-out or delivery services, and non-essential businesses must close in a red zone.

To be clear, no part of Erie County is currently in a red zone, but if the numbers of cases do not decrease, Gov. Cuomo says Erie will be there. Poloncarz hopes to see a drop in COVID numbers soon, in order to avoid that.

Here are the local areas in either orange or yellow zones:

Orange ZoneYellow Zone
Grand IslandNewstead
Tonawanda (City and Town)Alden
West SenecaNorth Collins
Orchard ParkSardinia
AuroraNorth Tonawanda
EdenWheatfield (partial)

The Governor believes it will be about six months before a COVID-19 vaccine reaches “critical mass.”

Evan Anstey is a digital content producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2015. See more of his work here.

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