Erie County enters ‘community spread phase;’ County Exec briefs on what’s ahead

    The Erie, Pa. skyline (Capital-Star photo by Hannah McDonald)

    ERIE, Pa. — Erie County has entered the “community spread phase” of the COVID-19 pandemic, County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper said Monday, adding that the county has “bought some time” by following safety guidelines already in place.

    Erie County has seven new positive COVID-19 cases since since April 4, bringing the county total to 27 positive cases. To date, 647 COVID-19 tests have been negative, Dahlkemper said during a Monday briefing. 

    Surrounding Erie, Warren County has one positive case, and Crawford County has nine cases, according to state Department of Health data. 

    Neighboring Erie, Chautauqua County, New York, reports 18 positive cases. And “Cuyahoga County, the Cleveland area is reporting 126 cases with 218 hospitalizations and 14 deaths,” Dahlkemper said. 

    “If you have not taken this global pandemic seriously I can assure you that you no longer have a choice. You must take this seriously. As testing continues, and as the days go by, we should all be prepared for a very rough week ahead,”she continued.

    “By keeping our numbers low, not having hospitalizations that other communities have seen,” the county executive said, “our hospitals have been able to get themselves ready for any surge in hospitalizations that we would see.”

    Erie residents are asked to wear masks when out of their homes at all times.

    Correspondent Hannah McDonald covers Erie and northwestern Pennsylvania for the Capital-Star