Modified: November 23, 2021 3:34pm
ERIE COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH PROVIDES COVID-19 DATA UPDATE FOR WEEK ENDING NOVEMBER 20, 2021
17.4% of 5-11-year-olds in Erie County have at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine
ERIE COUNTY, NY – The Erie County Department of Health (ECDOH) is providing an update on COVID-19 data. For the week ending November 20, 2021, ECDOH received reports for 4,351 new COVID-19 cases among Erie County residents, a 22% increase from the previous week. This also represents a 97% increase in COVID-19 cases in the past four reporting weeks. Erie County’s COVID-19 case rate of 456 cases per 100,000 residents in the past seven days for the week ending November 20 is an increase from the previous week’s case rate of 374. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) set a case rate threshold of 100 or more cases per 100,000 residents in the past seven days for a community to be considered to have “high transmission.”
31% of new COVID-19 cases last week were among city of Buffalo residents. For reference, city of Buffalo residents make up 29% of all Erie County residents. This past week the ZIP codes with the highest seven-day case rates per 100,000 persons were: 14111 (North Collins, 44 cases), 14218 (Lackawanna, 130 cases), 14085 (Lakeview, 47 cases), 14072 (Grand Island, 127 cases) and 14059 (Elma, 55 cases). These five ZIP codes had case rates above 600 cases per 100,000 residents over seven days.
Contact tracing case investigations continue to note family and household clusters of COVID-19 cases. With the holiday season approaching, ECDOH encourages people who plan to gather with friends and family to stay home and away from others if ill. Also, COVID-19 testing is a tool to make sure you know your COVID-19 status before small gatherings, especially if other guests are elderly, have chronic medical or immunocompromising conditions, are pregnant, or unvaccinated.
About 46,000 COVID-19 test reports were received last week, a slight increase from the previous week’s total. ECDOH and health care providers within Erie County still have substantial diagnostic testing capacity. People who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, regardless of vaccination status, should strongly consider a diagnostic COVID-19 test. The New York State Department of Health maintains a list of testing locations. ECDOH created a list of community COVID-19 testing resources for parents and caregivers. Free COVID-19 NAAT tests are available through ECDOH by calling 716-858-2929 to schedule an appointment. Appointments are required for COVID-19 testing through ECDOH. Wait times for ECDOH appointment telephone line are longest in the morning. Callers may choose to call after 10 a.m. if they want to avoid a wait.
The 30-39-year-old age group had the highest number of COVID-19 cases last week, which represents a seven-day case rate of 756 per 100,000 persons in that age group. The age groups with the highest positivity rates were school-aged children: 11.5% for 5-10-year-olds; 14.4% for 11-13-year-olds; and, 12.8% for 14-17-year-olds. Each of these categories increased since the previous week. These higher positivity rates may reflect lower relative numbers of tests in these age groups, and a higher likelihood that symptomatic children and adolescents will seek a COVID-19 test for return to school purposes.
For children under age 18 years, case totals increased by 155 COVID-19 cases last week from the previous week, to 1,125 COVID-19 cases. Cases among children under 18 years comprised 26% of all cases reported for last week, an increase from October 2021 when that proportion was ~22-23%. More children are now testing positive each week than at any other time during the pandemic.
The school team in the ECDOH Office of Epidemiology is managing a large volume of cases among k-12 students and school staff. Data for the week ending November 13 are incomplete* because official test reports are pending. Totals for the week ending November 20 will be included in next week’s update. The 918 COVID-19 cases among K-12 students for the week ending November 20 represent the highest total of weekly COVID-19 cases, including for the 2020-2021 academic year.
With 258 COVID-19 hospitalizations reported in Erie County hospitals on November 21, 2021, the number of patients admitted to Erie County hospitals with COVID-19 has ranged from a low of 173 hospitalizations to a high of 258 hospitalizations over the past two weeks [See chart at end of release]. 151 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 (59%) were not fully vaccinated. Among those patients, 35 (66%) of 53 patients admitted to the ICU were not fully vaccinated; and, 22 (63%) of 35 patients with an airway assist were not fully vaccinated. Vaccines work to reduce the risk of serious illness and hospitalization. The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) publishes statewide data for COVID-19 cases over time by vaccination status, and daily hospital admissions over time by vaccination status.
ECDOH is reporting COVID-19 mortality data. ECDOH received reports of 20 COVID-19 associated deaths in the past seven days. Total COVID-19-related deaths from March 2020 to November 18, 2021 now stand at 2,143, with 867 reported in 2021. CDC publishes national rates of COVID-19 related cases, hospitalizations and deaths by vaccination status at https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#rates-by-vaccine-status.
With data compiled by the ECDOH epidemiology office through November 22, 2021, 17.4% of 5-11-year-olds in Erie County have at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine. Additional data, including vaccination estimates by ZIP code, are posted to the ECDOH web site. NYSDOH also updates vaccination data by demographics, by county and by ZIP code.
ECDOH has an active schedule of COVID-19 vaccine clinics, listed at www.erie.gov/vax. Clinics for 5-11-year-olds are listed at www.erie.gov/vax. ECDOH will also vaccinate any eligible Erie County resident at their home. Call (716) 858-2929 for the “Vax Visit” program.
ECDOH encourages Erie County residents who are not fully vaccinated to begin their COVID-19 vaccine series. COVID-19 vaccination is especially important for youth and families attending school or child care.
ECDOH vaccine clinics will provide a COVID-19 booster dose to anyone age 18 and older as long as enough time has elapsed from their initial series completion (6 months for Pfizer and Moderna; 2 months for J&J). ECDOH encourages people to review the recommended booster eligibility criteria, evaluate their risk factors and talk to their own physician with questions. NYSDOH has further information about booster doses.
Chart: Erie County Hospitalization Data, last two weeks (November 8, 2021-November 21, 2021)
Data Sources: New York State Department of Health and Erie County hospitals
ECDOH, COVID-19 vaccine info & clinic schedule: http://www.erie.gov/vax
ECDOH, COVID-19 Information Line: (716) 858-2929 – foreign language interpretation available
ECDOH, COVID-19 Weekly Data Updates: https://www2.erie.gov/health/index.php?q=covid-19-media-data
New York State Department of Health, COVID-19 Boosters: http://ny.gov/boosters