BUFFALO, N.Y. — The number of coronavirus (COVID-19) related deaths continue to increase in Erie County.
As of Thursday afternoon there are a total of 1,951 confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz. That's an increase of 139 cases since Wednesday. He expects more cases later today.
The New York State Department of Health's website says there are 109 COVID-19 related deaths in Erie County. The county's website listed said 107 deaths as of Thursday evening.
The number of deaths in Erie County rose significantly this week.
Poloncarz says the number of deaths increased a lot on Tuesday because the Erie County Department of Health received information about 31 deaths that have happened since April 10 that they were not aware of.
He says the discrepancy in numbers is because nursing homes must report to the state any deaths in a nursing home, not to the county. With the Easter holiday, there was a lag in reporting.
Sixty percent of the fatalities are male, but the majority of the confirmed cases are female.
Poloncarz says the hospitalization of patients has gone down slightly over the past couple of days.
The county says they have received PPE, 29,000 of the N95 masks, 192,000 surgical masks and 84,000 gloves. They will be distributing the gear to local healthcare providers based on New York State directives and local need.
Poloncarz says they've had an uptick in testing and will be doing more testing through the county lab and private labs. So far, 7,278 people have been tested in Erie County.
Earlier on Tuesday, Poloncarz signed an executive order, approved by New York State, closing all campgrounds in the county beginning at 9 a.m. April 15.
Camping is prohibiting at any campsite in the county.