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

Gov. Cuomo on higher COVID-19 rates in WNY region

The governor mentioned "research" into reasons why.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — For the first time in weeks Governor Andrew Cuomo took a question from Channel 2 and we had to ask this about the higher COVID rates of 4.7% here in Western New York as compared to other areas of the state and the state's average of 2.9%. 

We asked, "Is there any possibility that you would call for further restrictions regarding Western New York and if so what could they be?"

Cuomo replied "Good question, good question. We're not there, but it is a good question." He then added that the state plans to do some research into the issue and that "we're not contemplating additional restrictions, but we do have to get it under control."

Niagara County Public Health Director Daniel Stapleton pointed out, "We have no other option, but to make sure we're doing the sensible things that we know we need to do. We know how to do these things. We know what we need to do. And I understand where he's tired of it."

Stapleton added, "I think behavior is a big part of it. I don't discount that at all. When we see our average age going down."

That's the age of more infections in Niagara County and elsewhere in the area being more people in their 20's and 30's with more senior citizens now fully vaccinated.

And overall on vaccinations, Niagara County has much more coming up this week to try to stem the tide of new infections.

"We'll see how this week goes with our clinic on Wednesday and Thursday," Stapleton said. "We've already got over 1,600 people scheduled for Wednesday and right now we'll open up at least 2,000 doses of Moderna for the public sometime tomorrow probably around noon Tuesday. So the vaccine is available - it's available far more than it has been. It's available through the state in Niagara Falls and it's available through our clinics."

The Niagara County mass vaccination clinic is again at the Lockport Drive-In on Transit Road, but Stapleton says they will also try to redistribute more to other health agencies if need be.