Erie county has a new approach to navigate the pandemic.
County Executive Brenton Davis spoke with members of the Erie County Health Department about the new strategy.
Davis said that he is working with the health department to increase the number of testing sites.
County Executive Brenton Davis said that he is working with staff from the health department on a plan to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.
Instead of daily announcements, the Erie County Department of Health is reporting COVID cases on a weekly basis.
Davis said that the health department will embrace a new philosophy that includes frequent COVID testing opportunities.
“Move away from the ineffectiveness of contact tracing. It’s absolutely ineffective. We’re going to reallocate those resources from the tracing and focus more on the testing more on the education, more on the immunizations, more on the school districts to apply resources where they need to be,” said Brenton Davis, Erie County Executive.
Medical experts said that it is important for the health department to be aware of COVID case numbers to keep the community safe.
“I think the overall trends are most important and I think that’s what is most important is how many people are getting sick and being admitted to the hospital because that is what is overloading the health care system. It’s making it harder to take care of the other sick people who don’t have COVID because we don’t have beds,” said Dr. Howard Nadworny, Infectious Disease Physician.
Dr. Nadworny said that many of the patients hospitalized are not vaccinated and many of those who are vaccinated are over the age of 70.
Another medical expert said that the number of COVID hospitalizations at UPMC Hamot remains high.
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“We’ve seen a major increase in the past week. We were thankfully before a lower point right before Christmas, but in the most recent seven days we’ve had a really hospitalizations double specifically for COVID,” said Emily Shears, Vice President of Quality at UPMC.