BUFFALO, N.Y. — More than 1,000 Erie County residents have died as a result of COVID-19 since the pandemic began earlier this year.
Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz shared the numbers Thursday during a weekly briefing. In total, 1001 residents have died as of December 16.
The seven-day positivity rate is 6.1% for Erie County. Poloncarz says hospitalizations have leveled off, but the number of hospitalizations is still much higher than they were at the highest levels in April.
Currently, 76.7% of the hospital beds in Erie County are occupied, and 21% of those hospitalized are in the ICU. Not all of those patients have COVID-19.
The Erie County Department of Health also released new hours for the COVID information hotline.
Beginning Monday, December 21 new Erie County Department of Health COVID-19 Information Line hours will be:
- Weekdays, 8 a.m. until 6 p.m.
- Saturdays, 9 a.m. until 12 p.m.
- Sundays, closed
The COVID-19 Information Line will be closed on Friday, December 25 and Friday, January 1, 2021. Hours on Thursday, December 24 and Thursday, December 31 will be 8 a.m. until 12 p.m.
County officials also talked about a COVID Impact Loan Program available to local businesses struggling due to the pandemic.
The Erie County Department of Health Information phone number is: (716) 858-2929. You can also find more information at: www.erie.gov/covid19.
Qualifying businesses could get a low-interest loan, with no payments for one-year. For more information, you can call (716) 856-6525 ext. 219 for more information, or check out their website at: www.ecidany.com.