Erie County Update: April 30, 2020
No new cases reported in Erie County as healthcare professionals return
Erie County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper was pleased to report that there were no new positive cases of COVID-19 to report in Erie County, with its total remaining at 87 cases, and 1,892 negatives. We have seen 59 recoveries, placing our active total at 28 cases. In total, there have been two deaths due to COVID-19 of Erie County residents.
Statewide, there were 1,397 additional positive cases reported yesterday, for a total of 45,763 total cases. So far, there have been 2,292 deaths statewide, and 175,602 patients who have tested negative to date.
Crawford County still stands at 19 positive cases (no change since Friday), while McKean County remains at six, and Warren County at one (no change since April 3).
Chautauqua County currently has 33 cases (up one) and three deaths. Ashtabula County now has 116 cases (up three) and 15 deaths (up four).
"Please understand that while we are pleased to report that we don't have any new cases, we should still act as if everyone we come in contact with could potentially be a carrier of the virus," Dahlkemper warned.
The Environmental Task Force responded to 22 new complaints yesterday, and continue to make field visits.
Pennsylvania's Department of Labor and industry released a set of guidelines for COVID-19 FAQs, viewable below.
Today, in a regular Thursday afternoon feature, the County Executive was joined by our region's healthcare partners. In attendance via Zoom were Dorene M. Sommers, Associate Director of Patient Care Services for the Erie Veteran's Affairs Medical Center, Emily Shears, Director of Infection Prevention at UPMC Hamot, Monsignor David Rubino, Ph.D., Vice President of External Affairs at LECOM Health, and Dr. Wayne Jones Medical Director of Emergency Medicine from Allegheny Health Network at St. Vincent.
"We continue our new normal here at the Erie VA," Sommers began. She highlighted the VA's teleservices and senior support groups, and noted the May is Mental Health Awareness Month. They also recently rolled out a COVID Coach Mobile App to aid well-being available at ptsd.va.gov.
Msr. Rubino noted that LECOM's Millcreek Community Hospital and Corry Memorial Hospital will resume some elective procedures on Monday, May 4. He also voiced concerns for mental wellness and suggested that people, especially children, occasionally turn off the news about COVID-19.
Dr. Jones from the Allegheny Health Network led by expressing his condolences to the families of the two patients who passed away at St. Vincent following a positive COVID-19 diagnosis. He noted that there were currently no patients at St. Vincent who were hospitalized with the disease.
Emily Shears of UPMC Hamot cited that "our robust testing process throughout UPMC has tested thousands of patients, and we haven't had a single asymptomatic in western Pennsylvania test positive for COVID-19."
Regarding Erie County's possible move to the Yellow phase of reopening, Dahlkemper stated that she still felt the outlook was good for Erie, though the official announcement will come on Friday, May 1.
As per which types of businesses could be reopening, she said that it would be doubtful for salons and barbershops to reopen in the Yellow phase. She said that some entertainment-oriented businesses would likely be off the table due to the 25-people-and-under stipulation, citing movie theatres and casinos. She stated that to her knowledge, gyms and spas would not be on the list to reopen. To her understanding, garden centers would be able to be reopened, though like all businesses, they would abide by social distancing requirements.
Any questions related to COVID-19 symptoms and enforcement should be directed to the Erie County Department of Health at 814-451-6700 or firstname.lastname@example.org.