The COVID-19 infection rate in the southern tier is on the rise and NEWS 4 (WIVB-TV) reports officials in Erie County are concerned about how this could negatively impact the area.

Enter your number to get our free mobile app

Governor Cuomo in his Wednesday news briefing said there are micro-clusters popping up around New York's border with Pennsylvania which is also leading to the upsurge in the number of hospitalizations.

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz says the counties surrounding Erie had a 40-percent hospitalization rate – which is the highest that number has been since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Poloncarz said we're seeing the resultant impact from this with two people from the southern counties receiving treatment in an Erie County hospital for COVID-19. The county executive said he’s concerned if this continues or becomes more serious, hospitals in the southern part of Erie County could start running out of beds to accommodate patients.

Officials from the Western New York region hold conference calls three times a week with New York State officials to discuss issues surrounding COVID-19 in our immediate area.  The last call of this nature was this past Monday.

Poloncarz said the call was a very “pointed” discussion, calling on the leaders of the affected southern tier counties to get things under control before it starts impacting the rest of Western New York.