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Buffalo, NY | Local News, Weather, Traffic, Sports | WGRZ.com

Erie County surpasses 5,200 confirmed COVID-19 cases; deaths rise to 459

The county is now reporting 5,231 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 459 deaths.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — On Wednesday the Erie County Department of Health's coronavirus tracking map showed that there are now 5,231 cases of COVID-19 within the county.

The county's map also reported four new deaths, bringing the total to 459.

The map's Wednesday evening update showed an increase of 177 new cases since its previous update in the morning. The Health Department said it has conducted 32,873 coronavirus tests so far, for a rate of 15.4 percent positive. 

The county has also conducted 27,161 antibody tests. Just 7.6 percent of those people tested had the COVID-19 antibodies present in their system. Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz says this means 92.4 percent of Erie County residents have not contracted the virus.

The majority of the confirmed cases in the county are in the city of Buffalo, where 2,082 people have tested positive.

Poloncarz says the numbers in the county are continuing to improve. On May 18, 182 individuals were admitted to Erie County Hospitals for COVID-19, compared to 241 people on May 1. On May 18, 45 individuals were in the ICU, 33 of which had an airway assist. Those numbers were nearly twice as high back on May 1, with 98 people in the ICU and 73 of which had an airway assist.

The county executive also showed how Erie County is doing worse than similar sized counties in stopping the spread of COVID-19. Cuyahoga County (OH), where Cleveland is, has 3,410 cases and 175 deaths. Allegheny County (PA), where Pittsburgh is, has 1,641 confirmed cases and 143 deaths. Both of those counties have about 300,000 more residents than Erie County. 

During a press conference Wednesday the county executive announced that antibody testing through the Erie County Department of Health is full for the rest of the month. Those who would like to be tested in June can call the county at (716) 858-2929 starting Wednesday, May 27 to make an appointment. You do not need a doctor's referral. 

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