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COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to increase in the Western New York region

The Western New York COVID-19 positivity rate for Monday was 9 percent.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Data released from New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's office and the New York State Department of Health on Tuesday, December 1 show that the COVID-19 numbers across the Western New York region continue to increase.

The total number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 in the Western New York region on Monday, November 30 was 432. That number is up 21 from Sunday.

The number of patients hospitalized with the virus in the region has now been increasing for 21 consecutive days. The most consecutive days with increasing hospitalizations in the spring was seven days. 

The number of people in the ICU; however, decreased to 77 on Monday, down nine from the day before.

Below is the number of new COVID-19 cases reported to Cuomo's office for each county in the Western New York region which includes Erie, Niagara, Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Allegany counties:

  • Erie: 615
  • Niagara: 145
  • Chautauqua: 29
  • Cattaraugus: 29
  • Allegany: 152

Chautauqua County Executive P.J. Wendel said the county has 13 people hospitalized. He said he is more concerned about increasing hospital staff than he is about bed capacity.

“You know the beds are easy, we have the beds, we have the equipment, the problem is our staffing," he said. "These men and women have been working tirelessly on the front lines since this began so that’s what we are really looking for right now is making sure those numbers are suitable.” 

Wendel said UPMC Chautauqua is hiring for new positions and is beginning to shift some staff to more clinical roles to assist with the anticipated increase in patients.

Cattaraugus County reported 21 people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19.

Public Health Director Dr. Kevin Watkins said that is the largest number of cases Olean General Hospital has seen since the start of the pandemic.

Watkins said the hospital is working to bolster staff and said bed capacity is at 52 percent.

“That’s good in that we have the capacity to take on more COVID patients if necessary at our hospital," he said. "We have been working with them on a weekly basis to make sure that they will be equipped to increase the bed capacity by 50 percent as required from the governor’s office.”

The Western New York COVID-19 positivity rate for Monday was 9 percent. The current seven day rolling average for the region is 7.29 percent, both numbers were the highest in the state.