Erie County reported 31 COVID related deaths in the last two weeks.
The county executive stated that on average, that is more than two deaths a day.
Here is more on what county officials are recommending before holiday gatherings.
County officials recommend getting tested for COVID-19 before gathering even if you are vaccinated.
The county executive said that all lives that have been taken by COVID-19 are lives taken too soon.
The county has reported a total of 587 COVID related deaths in Erie County. Five of those deaths have been within this past week.
“My heart is very sad as I consider all the families with empty chairs around their tables this holiday season,” said Kathy Dahlkemper, Erie County Executive.
The director of the Erie County Department of Health said that while there are treatments for COVID that are available, local hospitals are seeing more COVID patients which is putting a strain on the staff as they expand their COVID units.
“Yes there are many new treatments for COVID-19 infection such as monoclomal antibodies and antivirals, and many more are coming to the market, but the illness is still very serious and is very difficult to treat, especially when you become hospitalized, less than half of the people put on ventilators will survive,” said Melissa Lyon, Director of the Erie County Department of Health.
“These procedural rules are not applicable at the county level and this decision does not impact the mask mandate that Erie County has in place. Therefore at this time the counties mask mandate for schools remains in effect,” said Dahlkemper.
County officials said that there will be more COVID testing sites available to the Erie community through out the holiday season to stop the spread of the virus.
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