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Hochul: No identified COVID-19 hot spots found in WNY as cases rise

COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are rising in Western New York. State officials say community spread is the reason, and that is more concerning than a hot spot.

WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. — We have tough questions for the state on rising COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations here in Western New York.

This, as we get closer to Halloween and Election Day.

WNY is now seeing Covid cases and hospitalizations rise to levels seen earlier in the pandemic. The latest data -- two days ago shows 205 positive Covid cases --  the most since late April.

And 94 hospitalizations -- the most since mid-June. 

2 On Your Side spoke to Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul, who heads up the COVID response in the Western New York Region. 

REPORTER: Can you react to those numbers and what is the state doing about it? 

"The state is very much involved. We have not identified any particular, isolated hot spots," Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul said.

The Governor's Office says it's seeing community spread of the virus across the state -- more concerning than hot spots. 

REPORTER: Do you think that things could be scaled back in any way we could return back to Phase 3, Phase 2, maybe even Phase 1? 

"We are certainly hoping not," Hochul said, "We're watching everywhere to make sure there's not one area that's a hot spot."

We wanted to talk to Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz and Erie County Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein about the rise in cases and hospitalizations, but we weren't granted an interview.

With Halloween, a Bills game, Election Day and the holidays coming up… health experts say now is not the time to get COVID fatigue. 

2 On Your Side keeps getting questions from fans about whether there will be any fans in the stands for a Bills game this season.

REPORTER: Would you put a percentage at all on the likelihood of Bills fans getting back into the stadium? 

"No I'm not going to speculate on that it's up to the experts and I am not an expert. We're going to defer to what they think is best for the residents and for our fans," Hochul said.

In terms of hospitalizations, Hochul says hospitals have plenty of capacity. 

On COVID-19 enforcement, the Erie County Health Department says it will have health inspectors out this weekend.