The number of people hospitalized with Covid-19 in Erie County continues to drop from its single-day high on Monday, according to the latest figures from the state Department of Health.
There were 242 people hospitalized as of Thursday, the date for which the most recent data was available, County Executive Mark Poloncarz posted on Twitter on Saturday.
There were 258 people hospitalized Monday, a figure which dropped to 253 on Tuesday and remained at that level on Wednesday, according to the state data released by Erie County.
The number of individuals in intensive care dropped for the third straight day, Poloncarz said in a tweet. He did not release Thursday's figure for ICU patients.
The number of hospitalizations is an important measure because it reflects the spread of the outbreak and the state is using the measurement when determining when a region of the state may reopen.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has said hospitalizations must decline for 14 days before a region can reopen.
Poloncarz on Friday said it was his understanding from the state that guidelines allow for small, one-day increases in the number of hospitalizations of individuals with Covid-19 as long as there is a decrease over a two-week period.
If that happens here, "I think we'd be fine based on the conversations we had," Poloncarz said Friday.
Erie County's problem has been that hospitalizations have increased of late. Hospitalizations reached 247 people on April 19 before decreasing and then going back up to the newest peak on Monday.
"We need to continue going down," Poloncarz said. "If we stay plateaued where we are, or as we did in the last few days, actually went up from where we were, it's highly doubtful that we would see a reopening."
The county executive also noted other measures are included in the criteria for reopening, including a region's hospital bed capacity. Earlier this week, hospitals in Erie County were at about 50% capacity for regular beds and about 60% capacity for intensive care beds.
The governor has said hospitals should have at least 30% capacity available in order to be able to adapt to possible surges in Covid-19 patients.