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The Erie County Department of Health provides an update on COVID-19 data for the week ending November 27, 2021

Erie County, NY – The Erie County Department of Health (ECDOH) is providing an update on COVID-19 data. For the week ending November 27, 2021, ECDOH received reports of 4,271 new COVID-19 cases among Erie County residents, down 2% from the previous week. This drop may be attributed to fewer tests taking place in the latter half of that week due to the Thanksgiving holiday. This also represents a 145% increase in COVID-19 cases in the past six reporting weeks, and a 59% increase in the past four weeks. Erie County’s COVID-19 case rate of 448 cases per 100,000 residents in the past seven days for the week ending November 27 is slightly down from the previous week’s case rate of 456. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has set a threshold case rate of 100 or more cases per 100,000 residents in the past seven days for a community that will be considered “high transmission.”

30% of new COVID-19 cases last week were among Buffalo city residents. For reference, Buffalo City residents make up 29% of all Erie County residents. Last week, the ZIP codes with the highest seven-day case rates per 100,000 people were: 14025 (Boston, 32 cases), 14086 (Lancaster, 225 cases), 14141 (Springville, 52 cases), 14004 (Alden, 77 cases). ) and 14057 (Aden, 52 cases). 17 ZIP Codes have a case rate of over 500 new cases per 100,000 residents over seven days.

Investigations into contact tracing cases continue to note family and household clusters of COVID-19 cases. With the holiday season approaching, ECDOH encourages people planning to gather with friends and family to stay home and stay away from others in case of illness. Also, COVID-19 testing is a tool to make sure you know your COVID-19 status before small gatherings, especially if other guests are elderly, have chronic medical or immune conditions, are pregnant, or are not vaccinated.

About 43,200 COVID-19 test reports were received last week, down slightly from the previous week’s total. Weekly test reports have remained very stable over the past four weeks. ECDOH and health care providers within Erie County still have significant capacity to perform diagnostic testing. People with symptoms of COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status, should strongly consider COVID-19 diagnostic testing. The New York State Department of Health maintains a list of testing sites. ECDOH has created a list of community resources for COVID-19 testing for parents and caregivers. Free COVID-19 NAAT tests are available through ECDOH by calling 716-858-2929 to schedule an appointment. Appointments are required for COVID-19 testing through ECDOH. Wait times for an ECDOH appointment phone line are the longest in the morning. Callers may choose to call after 10 am if they want to avoid waiting.

The weekly positivity rate was 9.9%, up from 9.4% for the week ending November 20. This is the highest weekly positive percentage since the early stages of the epidemic in May 2020. The age group from 30 to 39 years was the highest. The number of COVID-19 cases last week, which represents a seven-day case rate of 693 cases per 100,000 people in that age group. The age groups with the highest positivity rates were school-aged children: 12.6% for children 5-10 years old; 14.8% for those between the ages of 11 and 13; and 13.7% for those aged 14 to 17. These higher positivity rates may reflect relatively lower numbers of testing in these age groups, and a greater likelihood that symptomatic children and teens will seek COVID-19 testing to return to school. Every age group, with the exception of age 80 and over, had a positivity rate of more than 8%.

For children under the age of 18, total cases were down by 53 COVID-19 cases last week from the previous week, to 1,072 COVID-19 cases. Cases among children under 18 made up 25% of all cases reported in the past week, up from October 2021 when that percentage was around 22-23%.

The school team in the ECDOH Office of Epidemiology manages a large number of cases among K-12 students and school staff. Data for the week ending November 13 and November 20 are incomplete* because official test reports are pending. These weekly totals remain higher than at any other time in this or the previous academic year.

ECDOH announced that it was piloting a “Test to stay” program with the Grand Island Central School District beginning December 6. On a large scale, in a school using TTS, k-12 students who have not been fully vaccinated and who come into contact with a case of COVID-19 who are exposed to school exposure will have a rapid COVID-19 test before each school day as part of the modified quarantine. Household-exposed students will not be eligible, and school staff will not. A student would go to school that day if the test result was negative. A positive test result means that the student has been excluded from school and placed in home isolation. ECDOH will evaluate the results of the pilot program and decide on next steps.

With 334 hospitalizations reported at Erie County hospitals on November 28, 2021, the number of patients admitted to Erie County hospitals with COVID-19 has ranged from 203 hospitalizations to 334 hospitalizations over the past two weeks [See chart at end of release]. 211 hospitalized patients with COVID-19 (63%) were not fully vaccinated. Of these patients, 42 (69%) of the 61 patients admitted to the ICU were not fully vaccinated; And 32 (70%) of the 46 airway-assisted patients were not fully vaccinated. Vaccines reduce the risk of serious illness and hospitalization. The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) publishes statewide data for COVID-19 cases over time by vaccination status, and daily hospital admissions over time by vaccination status.

ECDOH reports COVID-19 mortality data. ECDOH has received reports of 8 deaths related to COVID-19 in the past seven days. COVID-19-related deaths from March 2020 to November 25, 2021 now total 2,151, with 875 reported in 2021. The CDC publishes national averages of COVID-19-related cases, hospitalizations and deaths by vaccination status at https: // covid. cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#rates-by-vaccine-status.

With data collected by the ECDOH Office of Epidemiology through November 29, 2021, 21% of children ages 5-11 in Erie County have had at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Additional data, including vaccination estimates by postal code, are published on the ECDOH website. NYSDOH also updates vaccination data by demographics, county, and zip code.

ECDOH has an active schedule of COVID-19 vaccine clinics, listed at www.erie.gov/vax. Clinics for children ages 5-11 are listed at www.erie.gov/vax. ECDOH will also vaccinate any eligible Erie County resident in their home. Call (716) 858-2929 for the Visit Vax program.

ECDOH encourages Erie County residents who are not fully vaccinated to start their own series of COVID-19 vaccines. Vaccination against COVID-19 is especially important for young people and families who go to school or take care of children.

ECDOH Vaccine Clinics will provide a COVID-19 booster dose to anyone 18 years of age or older as long as sufficient time has elapsed from completing the initial series (6 months for Pfizer and Moderna; 2 months for J&J). ECDOH encourages people to review recommended booster eligibility criteria, assess their risk factors and speak to their doctor with questions. NYSDOH has more information on stimulant doses.

Graph: Erie County hospitalization data, past two weeks (November 15, 2021 to November 28, 2021); Data for November 25, 2021 not available due to the Thanksgiving holiday.
Data sources: New York State Department of Health and Erie County Hospitals


ECDOH and COVID-19 Vaccine Information and Clinic Schedule: http://www.erie.gov/vax

ECDOH, COVID-19 Information Line: (716) 858-2929 – Simultaneous translation available

ECDOH, COVID-19 Weekly Data Updates: https://www2.erie.gov/health/index.php?

New York State Department of Health, COVID-19 boosters: http://ny.gov/boosters


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