Modified: October 26, 2021 4:16pm

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ERIE COUNTY, NY – The Erie County Department of Health (ECDOH) is providing an update on COVID-19 data. For the week ending October 23, 2021, ECDOH received reports for 1,742 new COVID-19 cases among Erie County residents, a 4.2% decrease from the previous week. This is the second consecutive week since July 2021 that the weekly total COVID-19 cases declined from the previous week. Erie County’s COVID-19 case rate of 183 cases per 100,000 residents in the past seven days for the week ending October 23 is a decrease from the previous week’s case rate of 194. 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.”

35% 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: 14210 (Buffalo, 43 cases), 14032 (Clarence, 22 cases), 14220 (Buffalo, 66 cases), 14051 (East Amherst, 53 cases) and 14211 (Buffalo, 59 cases). Of the highest seven-day case rates, three within Buffalo city ZIP codes.

About 42,000 COVID-19 test reports were received last week, similar to 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. This includes p-12 students and school staff who need a diagnostic COVID-19 nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT) to return to school or work. ECDOH created a list of community COVID-19 testing resources for parents and caregivers. School staff and students with a negative COVID-19 NAAT test result do not need to provide a doctor’s note to return to school if they do not have a fever (afebrile) and symptoms are improving.

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. 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. Other test sites are listed through the NYSDOH web site.

Most COVID-19 cases continue to be in the 20-29 and 30-39-year-old age groups. Case counts declined in every age group category except for 10-19-year-olds and 40-49-year-olds. For children under age 18 years, case totals remained nearly the same as the previous two weeks: 408 cases for the week ending October 23, 404 cases for the week ending October 16, and 406 cases for the week ending October 9. 

The school team in the ECDOH Office of Epidemiology is managing a steady number of cases among k-12 students and school staff. Data for weeks ending October 16 and October 23 are incomplete* because official test reports are pending. Approximately 20% of the cases handled within schools are among adult school staff. 

Also, ECDOH has continued to note that approximately 85% of the 12-17-year-old COVID-19 cases were not fully vaccinated. Just over 50% of all Erie County children ages 12-17-years-old are fully vaccinated as of this writing. Therefore, approximately 85% of the 12-17-year-old COVID-19 cases occurred among the approximately 50% of the 12-17-year-olds who were not fully vaccinated for COVID-19 prior to infection.

With 115 COVID-19 hospitalizations reported in Erie County hospitals on October 24, 2021, the number of patients admitted to Erie County hospitals with COVID-19 has ranged from a low of 115 hospitalizations to a high of 145 hospitalizations over the past two weeks [See chart at end of release]. Of 115 patients with known vaccination status, 75 (65%) were not fully vaccinated; 17 (68%) of 25 ICU patients were not fully vaccinated; and, 13 (72%) of 18 patients with an airway assist were not fully vaccinated. From NYSDOH data, 62.2% of Erie County residents are fully vaccinated. Though not all Erie County hospital patients are Erie County residents, an inference can be made that about 38% of unvaccinated residents account for 65% of hospitalizations. Vaccines work to reduce the risk of serious illness and hospitalization. The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) published 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 21 COVID-19 associated deaths in the past seven days. Total COVID-19-related deaths from March 2020 to October 21, 2021 now stand at 2,083, with 807 reported in 2021. CDC publishes national rates of COVID-19 related cases, hospitalizations and deaths by vaccination status at

With data compiled by the ECDOH epidemiology office through October 25 and based on 2020 U.S. Census population estimates, 69.3% of Erie County residents ages 18 years and older received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose, and 73.5% of Erie County residents ages 18 years and older completed a vaccine series. For the 16-17-year-old age group, 60% received 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, and 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. Third COVID-19 Pfizer or Moderna vaccine doses for people with moderately or severely immunocompromising conditions are available at any Erie County COVID-19 vaccine clinic. ECDOH also offers Pfizer booster vaccine doses for eligible individuals at all clinics that offer Pfizer vaccine. NYSDOH has further information about Pfizer booster doses.


Chart: Erie County Hospitalization Data, last two weeks (October 11-October 24, 2021)

Data Sources: New York State Department of Health and Erie County hospitals