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Erie County Covid-19 patients on ventilators hit lowest number since early April

The number of Covid-19 patients hospitalized in Erie County is leveling off but not declining, though the number of those requiring a ventilator has gradually decreased, according to the latest data released Tuesday.

In addition, the Erie County Department of Health has announced it will test residents for Covid-19 even if they do not have symptoms and will not immediately require them to isolate themselves.

The number of people who were in hospitals on Sunday rose to 245 from 240, County Executive Mark Poloncarz said in a tweet Tuesday. That is still lower than when the county had several days of hospitalizations last week that reached above 250.

Data for the number of Covid-19 patients in intensive care units have been more encouraging, remaining at 98 patients for each of the last three days. That represents the lowest number of ICU cases since April 1.

Poloncarz pointed out that the number of ICU patients requiring airway assistance, such as a ventilator, fell to 68, also the lowest level in more than a month.

Hospital admissions have exceeded discharges over the past week, though the numbers even out over a two-week period, he said.

As of mid-afternoon Tuesday, Erie County hospitals reported the following Covid-19 cases. Kaleida hospital numbers are as of Monday:

  • St. Joseph's Campus (the Covid-19 hospital where most Catholic Health Covid-19 patients are transferred): 72 inpatients, 39 in ICU;
  • Buffalo General Medical Center: 68 inpatients, 24 in ICU;
  • Erie County Medical Center: 41 inpatients, 12 in ICU on ventilators;
  • Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital: 32 inpatients, seven in ICU;
  • Mercy Hospital of Buffalo: four inpatients, all in ICU;
  • Kenmore Mercy Hospital: one inpatient in ICU;
  • Sister's Hospital and Oishei Children's Hospital: no patients.

The Erie County Health Department also announced that it is expanding testing to Erie County residents who wish to be tested for Covid-19 but show no symptoms. Anyone who is tested but has no symptoms is not required to abide by an isolation order unless their test results come back positive.

Previously, the county was testing those who had symptoms and required that those tested remain in isolation until their test results came back and were negative.

The Department of Health said it is expanding testing criteria because of the increased testing capacity by the Erie County Public Health Lab, the state and private partners such as Kaleida Health.

Those interested in getting a Covid-19 diagnostic test through the county should call (716) 858-2929. Foreign language interpretation is available.

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