Erie County deaths grew by another nine cases as of early Friday evening, bringing the total to 420, but the region is once again seeing a downward trend in hospitalizations.
County Executive Mark Poloncarz announced the additional deaths Saturday morning. The number of confirmed county cases of Covid-19 has risen to 4,820. That reflects a rise of 851 confirmed cases for the past week through Friday.
The state had not released Erie County hospitalization numbers as of Saturday afternoon, but the number of hospitalizations for Western New York fell for the second day in a row on Friday. Hospitalizations of 189 reflect the lowest number of people hospitalized since April 2, as measured on a three-day rolling average.
"This is a great sign," Poloncarz said in a Facebook post Saturday.
The number of Covid-19 patients hospitalized in intensive care has also fallen for the second day in a row – as a rolling average – to 59. That number is the lowest since March 31.
Erie County's Covid-19 numbers are the highest in the region and have the greatest impact on the state metrics for Western New York. The Western New York region includes Erie, Niagara, Cattaraugus, Chautuaqua and Allegany counties.
The state's Regional Monitoring Dashboard, which provides updated data on the benchmarks used to determine whether a region can reopen, shows Western New York has seen a decline in hospital deaths for two days in a row. The number of hospital deaths for the region, on a three-day rolling average, stands at nine.
In order to meet the state's reopening metrics, Western New York must show either a 14-day decline in hospital deaths or fewer than five hospital deaths on a three-day rolling average.
The region must also show a 14-day decline in hospitalizations. As of Saturday afternoon, the region has seen a two-day decline.
Those two metrics have prevented Western New York from reopening. The region currently meets five of the seven reopening benchmarks outlined by the state.
Since the start of the crisis and through 6 pm yesterday, there are now 4,820 confirmed Covid-19 cases. Unfortunately I have to report another nine (9) Erie County residents have died from the illness. Total deceased in now 420.
My condolences to all who have lost a loved one. pic.twitter.com/KJH8Y6BMlx
— Mark Poloncarz (@markpoloncarz) May 16, 2020
Story topics: Covid-19