BUFFALO, N.Y. — Erie County officials provided an update Monday afternoon in the on-going battle against COVID-19.
For the week ending December 5, data shows of the 56,523 people tested for COVID-19, 4,305, or 7.6 percent, tested positive for coronavirus. Numbers show the leading age range for positivity are those from 20-29 years old with those in the 50-59 year old age range not far behind.
As of December 4, 100 of 171 COVID-19 related deaths since November, were among those living in congregate settings. Those in congregate settings are identified as people in nursing homes and assisted living and health care facilities. For perspective, Erie County Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein pointed out that those over the age of 70 in the county make up only 12-13 percent of the population.
Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz also reassured the public that despite shortages elsewhere in the country, Erie County is well stocked with masks, gowns, face shields and other equipment known as PPE. In gloves alone, the county currently has a stockpile of nearly 10 million pairs to use for COVID-19 response, including first responders, healthcare workers and to prepare for vaccine distribution to the community.
On the vaccine front, Poloncarz announced that Jonathan Dandes, vice president of Rich Products and board chair at ECMC, has agreed to lead Erie County's Vaccine Task Force. Dandes will be joined by Robert Rich, III, president of ROAR Logistics who has agreed to assist the county with logistics of the massive operation.
Poloncarz said the vaccination effort will be one of the largest operations the county has ever seen. He also announced that three, as yet unnamed locations, have already been identified as mass vaccinations sites once the vaccine is available to the general public.