WNY remains on track for Phase 2 of reopening

NYS COVID-19 testing site in Buffalo's Cobblestone District. May 19, 2020 (WBEN Photo/Mike Baggerman)
Photo credit NYS COVID-19 testing site in Buffalo's Cobblestone District. May 19, 2020 (WBEN Photo/Mike Baggerman)

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WBEN) – The Western New York region remains on track to reopen as early as June 2.

According to New York State statistics, there were 162 people hospitalized due to coronavirus on Tuesday. This figure represents a continued decline for the region for the last week. There were 214 people hospitalized two weeks ago.

April 28 was the worst date in the region for total hospitalizations with 263. The region currently has 0.77 new hospitalizations per 100,000 residents. The hospitalization benchmark must be under two per 100,000 per day.

Deaths have also declined in the region over the last two weeks. Western New York also easily meets the bed threshold, number of testing, and the appropriate number of contact tracers.

Erie County

Erie County represents the overwhelming majority of cases in the region with 5,784. Of those cases, 504 people have died and 149 people were in the hospital as of May 25.

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz anticipates the region beginning phase two of reopening on Tuesday, echoing comments from Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul from Tuesday.

“The last two days of hospitalization data in which there were greater admissions than discharges is always a little concerning,” Poloncarz said Wednesday. “If you do a three-day rolling average we seem to be less than 15 so we’re still in a good position.”

“The question is will we see a spike in hospitalizations? We’ll have to keep a watch on that,” he said. “I think we’re on track.”

For now, hospitalizations are stable and there are no more than six people who have died per day in a hospital since at least May 12. Erie County is reporting 504 total deaths, though that number also includes coronavirus deaths in nursing homes.

Niagara County

Niagara County is reporting another four deaths associated with coronavirus. All told, Niagara County has 63 people who died.

There are 1,020 positive cases of COVID-19 in Niagara County.

Fifteen people remain hospitalized among the 301 active cases.

Allegany/Chautauqua/Cattaraugus Counties

The New York State Department of Health is reporting 205 positive cases of coronavirus in Allegany, Cattaraugus, and Chautauqua Counties.

Seven people have died in the three counties.