Office of Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz

After showing a two-week downward trend in COVID hospitalizations, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz announced a disappointing uptick Wednesday. The reversal rules out the possibility of Erie County and its four fellow counties within the state's Western New York Economic Region from entering phase one of reopening when New York's PAUSE order is lifted Friday.


Across New York State, hospitals are hurting badly financially, squeezed between the costs of caring for COVID-19 patients and seeing income slashed because the state has banned elective surgeries. Some counties have been allowed to let their hospitals resume those procedures, with Niagara County reopening Tuesday. Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said he has been talking to Albany about adding Erie County to the list of counties allowing elective operations.