Community spread blamed for higher positive rates in WNY

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WBEN) – Community spread is believed to be the primary reason why the positive test rate is higher in the Western New York region than in other regions of New York State.

“We’ve been able to identify if there are clusters, and there really aren’t any large clusters, it’s just cases all across Erie County,” Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said Wednesday. “There are some family clusters. There’s some cases in nursing homes. There’s cases in smaller numbers in businesses. What we’re finding out is the vast majority of cases are just individuals from across the county who may not be able to identify where they got it from.”

Western New York’s positive testing rate is the highest in New York State at 1.4 percent as of Tuesday. This comes after 53 people tested positive for the virus out of 3,807. The next highest region in the state is the Mid-Hudson and Long Island regions at 0.9 percent. Long Island and New York City both had significantly more positive cases announced, though the positive rates are lower.

Over the weekend, 2.3 percent of people tested in Western New York were positive for the virus. Governor Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday reiterated the region is under caution.

“You may be over the pandemic, but the pandemic is not over,” Poloncarz said.