ERIE COUNTY, NY — The Erie County Department of Health (ECDOH) provides an update on COVID-19 data. For the week ending December 4, 2021, ECDOH received reports for 5,537 new COVID-19 cases among Erie County residents, a 30% increase from the previous week and represents an absolute weekly high total of cases. Erie County’s number of COVID-19 cases of 580 cases per 100,000 residents in the past seven days for the week ending Dec. 4 is an increase from the previous week’s number of 448. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have set a case threshold of 100 or more cases per 100,000 residents in the past seven days for a community to be considered “high transmission.”

29% of new COVID-19 cases last week were from residents of the city of Buffalo. For reference, residents of the city of Buffalo make up 29% of all residents of Erie County. In the past week, the zip codes with the highest seven-day cases per 100,000 people were: 14203 (Buffalo, 20 cases), 14055 (East Concord, 15 cases), 14057 (Eden, 75 cases), 14218 (Lackawanna, 173 cases), and 14086 ( Lancaster, 278 cases). Five zip codes had a case rate of more than 800 new cases per 100,000 inhabitants over seven days. Noteworthy: The zip codes of 14203 and 14055 have a smaller population and the number of cases can be significantly influenced by the total number of cases. Twenty-five zip codes have 7-day case rates of over 600 new cases per 100,000 population.

Contact tracing investigations continue to note familial and household clusters of COVID-19 cases. With the holiday season approaching, ECDOH encourages people planning to get together with friends and family to stay home and away from others when they are sick. COVID-19 testing is also a tool to ensure you know your COVID-19 status before small gatherings, especially if other guests are older, have chronic medical or immunocompromising conditions, are pregnant, or have not been vaccinated.

About 51,000 COVID-19 test reports were received last week, an increase from the previous week’s total and the most tests reported in one week since April 2021. Weekly test reports have been stable for the past four weeks. ECDOH and health care providers in Erie County still have substantial diagnostic testing capacity. People experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, regardless of vaccination status, should strongly consider a COVID-19 diagnostic test. The New York State Department of Health maintains a list of testing sites. ECDOH has created a list of COVID-19 community testing resources for parents and carers. Free COVID-19 NAAT testing is available through ECDOH by calling 716-858-2929 to schedule an appointment. For testing for COVID-19, appointments are required via ECDOH. The waiting times for the ECDOH telephone line for appointments are longest in the morning. Callers can choose to call after 10am if they want to avoid waiting.

The weekly positivity rate was 10.8%, up 9.9% for the week ending November 27. This is the highest weekly positivity rate since the earliest stages of the pandemic in May 2020, when testing capacity was low. The 30-39 age group had the highest number of COVID-19 cases last week; this age group also had the highest 7-day case rate per 100,000 people, at 899. The age groups with the highest positivity score children under 14: 12% for 0-4 year olds; 13.2% for 5-10 year olds; 16.4% for 11-13 year olds; and 13.7% for 14-17 year olds. These higher positivity rates may be due to a lower relative number of tests in these age groups, and a higher likelihood that symptomatic children and adolescents will attempt a COVID-19 test before returning to school.

For children under 18, the total number of cases has increased from the previous week by about 25% to 1,345 cases.

Cases in children under the age of 18 comprise 25% of all cases reported for the past week.

The ECDOH Office of Epidemiology School Team is managing a large number of cases among K-12 students and school staff. Data for the week ending November 27 is incomplete* as official test reports are pending. The Thanksgiving holiday may have contributed to a lower number of tests and positive test results for the week ending Nov. 27. These weekly totals remain higher than at any point in this or the previous academic year.

With 376 COVID-19 hospitals reported in Erie County hospitals as of December 5, 2021, the number of patients admitted to Erie County hospitals with COVID-19 has ranged from a low of 284 hospitalizations to a high of 376 hospitalizations in the past two to soften [See chart at end of release]. 257 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 (68%) were not fully vaccinated. Of those patients, 51 (74%) of the 69 patients admitted to the ICU were not fully vaccinated; and 36 (72%) of the 50 patients with airway assistance were not fully vaccinated. Vaccines work to reduce the risk of serious illness and hospitalization. The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) publishes statewide data on COVID-19 cases over time by vaccination status, and daily hospital admissions over time by vaccination status.

ECDOH reports death rates for COVID-19. ECDOH has received reports of 52 COVID-19 related deaths in the past seven days; these reports were from October, November and December. The total number of COVID-19-related deaths from March 2020 to December 2, 2021 now stands at 2,203, with 927 reported in 2021. CDC publishes national figures of COVID-19-related cases, hospitalizations and deaths by vaccination status at https://covid .

With data collected through December 6, 2021 by the ECDOH Office of Epidemiology, 23.9% of 5-11-year-olds in Erie County have at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine. Additional data, including estimates of vaccinations by zip code, will be posted on the ECDOH website. NYSDOH also updates vaccination data by demographics, by county, and by zip code.

ECDOH has an active schedule of COVID-19 vaccine clinics, listed at Additional clinics have been added throughout the province until December 30th. Clinics for 5-11 year olds are listed at ECDOH will also vaccinate all eligible Erie County residents in their homes. Call (716) 858-2929 for the “Vax Visit” program.

ECDOH encourages Erie County residents who are not fully vaccinated to begin their COVID-19 vaccine series. Vaccination against COVID-19 is especially important for young people and families who attend school or childcare.

ECDOH vaccine clinics will provide a COVID-19 booster dose to anyone 18 years and older, as long as sufficient time has elapsed from initial series completion (6 months for Pfizer and Moderna; 2 months for J&J). ECDOH encourages people to review the recommended booster eligibility criteria, evaluate their risk factors, and talk to their own doctor with questions. NYSDOH has more information about booster doses.

Chart: Erie County Hospital Admission Data, Last Two Weeks (November 22, 2021 – December 5, 2021); data for November 25, 2021 not available due to Thanksgiving holiday.

Data Sources: New York State Department of Health and Erie County Hospitals


ECDOH, COVID-19 vaccine info & clinic schedule:

ECDOH, COVID-19 Information Line: (716) 858-2929 – Foreign Language Interpretation Available

ECDOH, COVID-19 Weekly Data Updates:

New York State Department of Health, COVID-19 Boosters: