Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz says he would not be surprised if communities in his county that are currently operating under the state's "yellow zone" COVID-19 standards were moved into the more restrictive orange or maybe even red zone stages this week.
During a press briefing on Tuesday, Poloncarz said he is expecting the governor to make an announcement about Erie County's Covid situation as early as Wednesday. In addition to changing designations for communities already covered under yellow zones, Poloncarz said he does expect the governor to add new communities to the yellow zone list.
In general, where COVID-19 infections are concerned, Poloncarz said Erie County currently finds itself in a "very bad situation."
Poloncarz said several yellow zone communities in Erie County are continuing to see unsettling infection and hospitalization rates. He specifically referenced the Town of Elma where he said the infection rate was 11.8% last week, the highest in the county. Poloncarz said the next three highest infection rates were found in the towns of North Collins, Boston and Evans which had infection rates of 11.6%, 11.5% and 10.9%, respectively.
Poloncarz noted that infections and hospitalizations can be followed by deaths when COVID-19 is involved. He again urged all Erie County residents to adhere to recommended public health practices, including mask wearing and social distancing, suggesting now is the time to "put politics aside" and put public health first.
"People are catching it across Erie county and, unfortunately, people are dying from it across Erie county," Poloncarz said.