Erie County COVID-19 Updates: April 6, 2020
Seven new cases in Erie County announced as gravity mounts
"Unfortunately today, I do not have good news" began Erie County Executive Kathy, in a noticeably darker tone than previous addresses. Dahlkemper reported that there were seven new cases in Erie County (with four yesterday, and three the day prior), bringing our total to 27 cases, with 646 total negatives. Dahlkemper stated that it was her understanding that none of the seven cases were hospitalized at this moment, with only one previous case having been hospitalized.
"If you have not taken this global pandemic seriously, I can assure you that you no longer have a choice. You must take this seriously," Dahlkemper warned after citing growing numbers in surrounding counties. "We should all be prepared for a very rough week ahead."
"I can officially say, that here in Erie County, we are now seeing community spread." She clarified that according to the CDC, this means that patients do not know where they became infected.
Dahlkemper urged residents to stay home, practice physical distancing – a helpful term she has taken to using in place of social distancing to encourage other non-contact forms of social interaction – and the wearing of masks when in public. She also noted that masks prevent the spread of the wearer to other individuals rather than protecting the wearer from others.
After echoing concerns from some local businesses regarding large crowds of people, Dahlkemper said that "if you want to continue purchasing your essential items, you must follow the guidelines and everyone else must also."
In the latest Social Distancing Scoreboard report from Unacast, Erie's score went down from an A- to a C-. Currently, no county received higher than a B-.
"We cannot do this alone. We can only do it with the help of each one of you," Dahlkemper implored.
When asked about the county's status, she assessed that "we are as prepared as we can be. One of the things we have done in the last couple of weeks is we have bought some time by keeping our number low and not having the hospitalizations that other hospitals have seen."
"We will get through this." Dahlkemper reassured in her closing remarks, saying that "I truly believe that our community is strong enough and resilient enough ... I have great faith in this community. Great faith that we can get by in this terrible time, that we will help our neighbors and help each other and we will keep the kind of attitude that we've always had – and it's a very strong, gritty attitude in this community – that we will pull together and do it together."
Nick Warren can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org