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Erie County's death toll rises by 12 to 73

At least 12 more Erie County residents have died from Covid-19 as of early Monday night, bringing the county's death toll to date to 73.

The latest deaths marked a new single-day high for Erie County during the pandemic.

The New York State Health Department's website Monday night reported 81 Erie County residents have died from Covid-19. County Executive Mark Poloncarz said his office was looking into the disparity between the reported figures.

"We are looking into the difference and trying to confirm if 81 is correct," Poloncarz tweeted.

The state Health Department also reported Monday that 29 of Erie County's fatalities were nursing home residents, and one was a adult care facility resident.

The number of Covid-19 deaths across Western New York grew to at least 86 as of early Monday evening after Wyoming County reported two more deaths of nursing home residents.

Also, Niagara County announced another person died from the illness, bringing its death toll to five.

With 11 additional confirmed cases, Niagara County surpassed 200 in all as of Monday.

Erie County reported 37 new confirmed cases Monday afternoon, bringing its total to 1,661.

Poloncarz noted a downturn in how much testing was done over the weekend.

The county also canceled a planned drive-thru sample collection event Monday because of the forecast of high winds, Poloncarz said.

On Sunday, the county received a shipment of personal protective equipment from the state, including "hundreds of thousands" of gloves and gowns, along with dozens of protective goggles. Those supplies were being distributed Monday to hospitals, the county executive said.

The county, still awaiting receipt of several orders of N95 masks, hopes to have some by the end of the week, Poloncarz said.

The number of hospitalized Covid-19 patients has increased in the past few days at Buffalo's largest hospitals, but the increases are small.

The combined total of 73 Covid-19 patients at Kaleida Health's Buffalo General Medical Center and Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital was up from 69 on Saturday and 63 a week ago. The two hospitals' ICU total dropped from 36 a week ago to 33 on Monday.

Erie County Medical Center reported 38 Covid-19 patients Monday, the same number as a week ago, with indications the caseload seems to be on a plateau, spokesman Peter K. Cutler said. The number on ventilators, however, increased to 23 from 16 in a week.

As of Monday afternoon there were 113 Covid-19 patients at Catholic Health hospitals, with 71 at the St. Joseph Campus for Sisters of Charity Hospital in Cheektowaga, an increase of 11 from a week ago.

In Erie County, there are more than 1,300 hospital beds and more than 200 intensive-care beds currently available, Poloncarz said.

A proposal to turn the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center into a Covid-19 hospital is still awaiting approval from state officials, who are monitoring hospitalization reports from area facilities, Poloncarz said.

[Related: Where Western New York's coronavirus cases are, county by county]

[Related: Erie County's Covid-19 cases by town, date, age, gender]

Coronavirus outbreak coverage

News Staff Reporter Thomas J. Prohaska contributed to this report.

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