On Aug. 16th, YourErie.com reported August was shaping up to be a bad month for COVID-19 cases. It has proved to be worse than expected.
With a spike of over 250 cases in the last four days, including 55 reported at 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, Erie County has now experienced the most cases of COVID-19 since April with 1,043, according to the New York Times, who use multiple state and health agencies for their numbers.
And, there are still five reporting days left before the month is over.
The chart from the Erie County Department of Health shown above is dated Aug. 23, but you can see the totals from the previous months. The combined cases from June and July totaled 375. In the earlier report from the middle of the month, the numbers were on track to reach at or around the 911 cases from the month of May.
But the high transmission rate in the county took the numbers past that mark on Aug. 25th. Now, Erie County is in danger of reaching or exceeding the months of March (1,375) or April (1,409).
“I worry that it is going to be [a very large breakout],” said Dr. Howard Nadworny, an Infectious Disease Specialist who was interviewed on Thursday. “We know what can slow it down.
“And the primary burden is really on those who have not been vaccinated because they are the ones that studies show are the primary spreaders right now.”
The Erie County Department of Health issued a mask mandate for all schools in the county on Aug. 23rd, then removed the religious exemption to the initial mandate on Aug. 26th in an effort to slow the spread.
Data such as reports on vaccination demographics can be found HERE. Related data such as case counts is available HERE. Data on transmission rates from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) can be found HERE.
The Department of Health reminds people to get vaccinated. As of Aug. 27th, the percentage of the Erie County population with at least one dose of the vaccine is 59.2 percent. Vaccination helps the body prevent severe illness and lessens the likelihood of needing hospitalization. Nearly all hospitalizations and deaths due to COVID-19 have been among unvaccinated persons.
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, no information from Pennsylvania about “breakthrough” cases, where vaccinated people in the state still contracted COVID-19, has been published at this time. According to the CDC, as of Aug. 23rd, the total number of breakthrough cases in the country where the person was hospitalized or died was 11,050. The total number of fully vaccinated individuals in the nation is over 172 million.
All unvaccinated residents are encouraged to get vaccinated. COVID-19 vaccines were developed by experts and are safe. Free vaccines are available for residents of Erie County ages 12 years and older. Finding vaccines in nearby locations can be done by:
- texting your ZIP Code to 438829
- visiting vaccines.gov
- calling 1-800-232-0233
A free mobile vaccination clinic organized by the Erie County Department of Health is available to the residents of Erie County. No insurance is needed and walk-ups are welcome. For the schedule of upcoming mobile clinics and other free clinics, click HERE.
The Department of Health also reminds people to get tested for COVID-19 if exposed to anyone who is positive for COVID-19 or if exhibiting its symptoms such as coughing, difficulty breathing, fever or chills, muscle or body aches, vomiting or diarrhea, or loss of taste or smell.
Testing results can help determine appropriate care and treatment if needed. For schedule of upcoming mobile clinics and other free clinics, click HERE.
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