Mar, 2022 - By SMI
No Omicron cases were found recently in Erie County, but they are presumed to be here.
Erie city’s executive Mark Poloncarz gave an update at the weekly COVID briefing on December 21, that this is the 2nd week in a row and Erie city has seen a decline in COVID-19 cases. Erie city has not yet found any cases of the Omicron variant. Though, according to Mr. Poloncarz, this variant is might already be spreading through in the area. The city has a large supply of rapid antigen tests from the state for use in schools as part of efforts to keep children in school, Erie City Health Commissioner Dr. Gail Burstein reported. In terms of cases, Erie City is performing better than Western New York City with the lowest rate per 100,000 with a rate of 52.4 for the 7-day average, and the lowest percentage positive rate of 8.3% for the 7-day average.
Though, because Omicron is spreading across the state and people are coming together for Christmas cases are expected to increase in the coming weeks. According to Mr. Poloncarz's report, the Omicron variant is three to four times more contagious than other variants. The decline in cases is good news, but as of December 19, not all Catholic hospitals in Erie City had available ICU beds. Mr. Poloncarz said he was a little concerned about reports that all ICU beds at Buffalo General Hospital had been filled over the past few days.
Western New York City is the only area in the region that has seen an average decline in hospitalization. Mr. Poloncarz says he believes that the order of social distance and wearing masks is reducing hospitalization. People should not rely on monoclonal antibody treatment as a way to prevent COVID-19, according to Dr. Burstein. Supply of monoclonal antibody treatment is a shortage and the emergency approved treatments working on Omicron variant haven’t been delivered from last three weeks in the state.
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