County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper is making a desperate plea to Erie County residents who still believe COVID-19 is a hoax.
Here are words of advice as COVID-19 deaths continue to rise here in Erie.
Erie County now has 178 new cases of COVID-19. This brings the county total to 5,798 positive cases since March.
When it comes to deaths, the county executive said that there has been too many starting with the first one.
“Eighty two Erie County individuals who have died from COVID-19 this year. That is 82 too many,” said Kathy Dahlkemper, Erie County Executive.
The deaths continue to soar locally as do hospitalization rates with 123 individuals, 14 of whom are on ventilators.
The county executive asked community members who aren’t taking the pandemic serious to start taking it seriously.
“The families of 82 people are not going to be able to celebrate the holidays with them this year or ever again,” said Dahlkemper.
Medical studies are now showing the aftermath of the virus. Individuals known as long haulers are showing lasting impacts of COVID-19 on the body after the virus is long gone.
Currently these long haulers are younger patients. They face symptoms such as fatigue, lack of energy and mental cloudiness.
“We don’t know what’s causing it. One of the theories out there is it’s some type of autoimmune reaction where your body has actively fought off the virus, but your immune system has not shutdown yet. It’s basically overreacting to the virus,” said Dan Muccio, Chief Medical Offer at AHN Saint Vincent.
With a health department swamped with contact tracing efforts, area hospitals maintain that they are stable and able to provide care to patients.
“Hope” does remain on the horizon as federal approval for a COVID-19 vaccine has been scheduled to debut sometime this month.
“They are still working on a national level to distribute those allocations to the state level. Once the state level is received they will further distribute down to all of the approved administration sites,” said Marcus C. Babiak, Pharmacy Director at Millcreek Community Hospital.
Who will be the first to get the vaccine? It still remains unknown at this point. It is believed however to be medical personnel