Thursday's Erie County COVID-19 briefing reported "distressing" figures: the largest one-day total of positive cases since the pandemic began.
We heard from County Executive Mark Poloncarz that the county death toll is now 1,265, total cases are more than 45,032 and the daily positivity rate is 7.6%. He said Erie is starting to see the results of holiday parties.
"And it’s very distressing what we’re seeing," he said. "Because for yesterday, Jan. 6, our Department of Health has identified 852 new cases that came in. This is the highest daily total ever for Erie County."
The hospitalization total didn’t rise much, but he said that reflects a mix of the people who were finally released and another group of people sick enough to need a hospital bed, perhaps an ICU bed.
The only good news was the rising total of those receiving one of the COVID vaccines and state promises to have all nursing home patients vaccinated by the end of next week. Polocarz cited a conference call he had just been on with state Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker.
"And Larry Schwartz, the governor’s vaccine czar, as we were talking about a number of things, including nursing homes, their goal is to get every one of the nursing homes to have their first round of vaccinations for their residents by the end of next week. It sounds like a good portion of them will be completed by Monday," Poloncarz said.
He said the county still doesn’t have a good handle on what’s going on in the nursing homes because Albany has released only one day of data on vaccinations and that was for Tuesday. Patients and staff will require thousands and thousands of doses.