Health officials concerned about new hospitalizations in WNY

Region still on track to begin Phase Two as early as Tuesday

Mike Baggerman
May 29, 2020 - 3:51 pm
Gale Burstein

(WBEN Photo/Brendan Keany)

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WBEN) – Current data from New York State shows that Western New York is on the right track towards reaching phase two by Tuesday, but new hospitalization numbers from Erie County are causing some concerns from health officials.

Friday’s data released by the New York State Department of health show a continued decline in coronavirus hospitalizations in the Western New York region. As of Thursday, there were 150 total hospitalizations in the five counties that represent the region, a decrease of nine from the previous day and a decrease of 31 from a week prior.

The region as a whole has still comfortably met all metrics in order to begin phase two.

However, new Erie County hospitalizations have notably increased.

WATCH: Erie County Health Commissioenr Gale Burstein's Friday coronavirus update (May 29)

During a coronavirus update on Friday, Erie County Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein said there were 44 new hospital admissions from Monday to Wednesday and only ten people who left the hospital after a diagnosis of coronavirus.

“They’re very concerning,” Burstein said of the numbers. “We’ll have to see how the governor and New York State interprets these data. We’re hoping we will still be allowed to progress into phase two.”

Fortunately, despite the spike in new hospitalizations numbers, it still remains under the state’s threshold of less than two per 100,000 residents. There would need to be an average of 28 hospitalizations per day in order for Western New York to fail to meet the criteria.

The three-day spike has created a new hospitalization three-day average of 14.6.


Niagara County on Friday reported four new positive cases, bringing their total to 1,037 since the pandemic began.

There are 12 people with coronavirus who are battling the disease in a hospital in Niagara County. All told, 65 people have died. There were no new deaths reported on Friday.


The three counties combined have 213 positive coronavirus cases. There are very few active cases in comparison to the other counties in Western New York.

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