ERIE COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH PROVIDES COVID-19 DATA UPDATE FOR WEEK ENDING OCTOBER 2, 2021
ERIE COUNTY, NY – The Erie County Department of Health (ECDOH) is providing an update on COVID-19 data. For the week ending October 2, 2021, ECDOH received reports for 1,787 new COVID-19 cases among Erie County residents, a 7% increase from the previous week.
The COVID-19 case rate of 187 cases per 100,000 residents in the past seven days for the week ending September 25 is an increase from the previous week’s case rate of 175. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) set a case rate threshold of 100 or more cases per 100,000 residents in the past seven days for a community to be considered to have “high transmission.”
29% of new COVID-19 cases last week were among city of Buffalo residents. For reference, city of Buffalo residents make up 29% of all Erie County residents. This past week 20 ZIP codes (compared to 16 ZIP codes the previous week) had seven-day case rates of more than 200 new cases per 100,000 persons. The 14001 (Akron) ZIP Code had 40 COVID-19 cases, for a seven-day case rate of 423 cases per 100,000 residents. About half of the cases in the 14001 ZIP code last week were under age 18, and there were several household clusters.
ECDOH received the most COVID-19 test reports last week since the week ending May 1, 2021, at just over 47,000 tests, and an increase of about 3,500 tests. 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. This includes p-12 students and school staff who need a diagnostic COVID-19 NAAT test to return to school or work. ECDOH created a list of community COVID-19 testing resources for parents and caregivers. School staff and students with a negative COVID-19 NAAT test result do not need to provide a doctor’s note to return to school if they do not have a fever (afebrile) and symptoms are improving.
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. Wait times for ECDOH appointment telephone line are longest in the morning. Callers may choose to call after 10 a.m. if they want to avoid a wait. Other test sites are listed through the NYSDOH web site.
COVID-19 cases continue to gradually rise in the pediatric and adolescent age groups. For the week ending October 2, 2021, cases in children ages 0-17 years increased 20% to 436 cases from 364 cases for the week ending September 25, 2021.
Of the 12-17-year-old COVID-19 cases diagnosed in September who completed contact tracing interviews, ECDOH documented that 85% of those cases were not fully vaccinated prior to infection. 14% of those cases were fully vaccinated prior to infection, and 1% were of unknown status or declined to provide that information. Approximately 50% of all children ages 12-17-years-old in Erie County are fully vaccinated as of this writing. Therefore, 50% of the unvaccinated 12-17-year-old population account for 85% of the COVID-19 cases confirmed among this age group.
The school team in the ECDOH Office of Epidemiology is managing a significant number of cases among k-12 students and school staff. Data for the weeks ending September 25 and October 2 are incomplete* because official test reports are pending.
With 139 COVID-19 hospitalizations reported in Erie County hospitals on October 3, 2021, the number of patients admitted to Erie County hospitals with COVID-19 has ranged from a low of 112 hospitalizations to a high of 143 hospitalizations over the past two weeks. [See chart at end of release]. The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) published statewide data for COVID-19 cases over time by vaccination status, and daily hospital admissions over time by vaccination status.
ECDOH is reporting COVID-19 mortality data. ECDOH received reports of 14 COVID-19 associated deaths in the past seven days. Total COVID-19-related deaths from March 2020 to September 30, 2021 now stand at 2,024, with 748 reported in 2021.
Looking at April 2021 to September 2021, 81% of the 286 COVID-19 associated deaths were in persons who were not fully vaccinated. This trend has changed over time as the proportion of the fully vaccinated population has increased, especially among older age groups. For the period from July 1, 2021 to September 30, 2021, 57% of 103 COVID-19 associated deaths were not fully immunized prior to infection. Only one fully vaccinated person was younger than 60 years. As with last week’s report, the average age at death since July 2021 in persons not fully vaccinated was 70 years, and the average age at death for fully vaccinated persons was 81 years.
With data compiled by the ECDOH epidemiology office through October 4 and based on 2020 U.S. Census population estimates, 72.3% of Erie County residents ages 18 years and older received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose, and 67.8% of Erie County residents ages 18 years and older completed a vaccine series. For the 16-17-year-old age group, 59.3% received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine. Additional data, including vaccination estimates by ZIP code, are posted to the ECDOH web site. 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 Pfizer or Moderna vaccine doses for people with moderately or severely immunocompromising conditions are available at any Erie County COVID-19 vaccine clinic. ECDOH also offers Pfizer booster vaccine doses for eligible individuals at all clinics that offer Pfizer vaccine. NYSDOH has further information about Pfizer booster doses.
Chart: Erie County Hospitalization Data, last two weeks (September 18-October 3, 2021)
Data Sources: New York State Department of Health and Erie County hospitals