Erie County Update, May 20: 2020
A record number of new positive cases were confirmed today
Erie County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper reported a record number of 17 new positive cases of COVID-19 in Erie County.
"Yes, I said 17," Dahlkemper clarified.
One of these individuals is in their 90s. Two are in their 60s, and one is in their 50s. Seven are in their 30s – in the highest one-day count for a single age group in our area. Two are in their 20s, two are in their teens, and two are under the age of five.
"As you can see, everyone, of every age is susceptible. Our cases span from our very youngest children to someone in their 90s," Dahlkemper cautioned. "Some are related to positives, and others are not." She went on to warn that regardless of weather, the Yellow phase of reopening, or our growing anxiety to get back to large gatherings, COVID-19 is still present in our area.
14 of these cases in Zone one (the City of Erie) – for the largest single-day concentration of new cases, while one is in Zone two (Millcreek), and two are in Zone three (North East, Harborcreek). Dahlkemper confirmed that some of these cases shared family connections.
The cumulative positive cases for Erie County is now at 162. There have been 50 new cases in the last 14 days. There have been 121 recoveries to date (one more than reported yesterday), for a total of 41 current active cases. So far, there have been three confirmed Erie County residents that have died due to COVID-19.
"We are about 12 days into the Yellow phase, and so we think that the spike probably has a lot to do with that, with the stay-at-home order being ended and people being out and about," Dahlkemper reasoned. "This would be about the timeframe that we knew we would see some higher numbers, and of course we saw 13 the other day now it's 17 today," she lamented.
Breakdown by sex:
Breakdown by age group:
4% Age 4 or younger
1% Age 5 - 9
5% Age 10 - 18
14% Age 19 - 24
40% Age 25 - 49
25% Age 50 - 64
11% Age 65 or older
Breakdown by race and ethnicity:
65% Caucasian/White (because of the NEDS classification within this category, 19% of this group are Hispanic/Latinx)
Dahlkemper noted that new contact tracers will beginning their duties starting June 1, with the health department still accepting applications at careers.eriecountypa.gov.
Regarding the case of a COVID-19 positive employee at Elmwood Gardens Retirement Community, Dahlkemper commended the organization for testing all of its employees and residents.
So far, the environmental task force has received 1,692 complaints and have made 214 field visits to area businesses. According to the task force, every Zone in Erie County has seen an increase in mask-wearing compliance. They noted that Zone four (which includes Oil City and Corry) was in 100% compliance based on their inspections yesterday.
At the time of Dahlkemper's press conference, statewide data was unavailable. This is where the negative test data is derived from as well as information about Erie's surrounding counties.
Dahlkemper also wished to acknowledge one "model business" who is following precautions impressively and creatively: Mama Mia's BOWtique in the West Erie Plaza, who is closed until June 1 but still doing many deliveries.
Dr. Howard A. Nadworny, an infectious disease physician and a consultant for the Erie County Department of Health joined Dahlkemper today via Zoom.